SEJONG, June 16 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s capital city of Seoul will face the steepest decrease in population over the next 30 years amid the country’s chronic low birth rate and rapid aging, government data showed Thursday.
The number of residents in Seoul is predicted to reach 8.81 million in 2045, down 1.13 million, or 11.3 percent, from 9.94 million tallied in 2015, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
Busan, the second-largest city located on the southeastern coast, will likely lose 470,000, or 13.7 percent, dropping to 2.98 million from 3.45 million over the 2015-2045 period, while the number of people living in Daegu will drop to 2.15 million in 2045 from 2.47 million during the same period.
On the other hand, Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, is forecast to see a 1.13 million increase in the number of residents with the total to hit 13.56 million in 2045.
“Those big cities will experience a sharp drop in the number of residents as people keep leaving urban areas due to higher living costs,” said the statistics office.
The cities will also be hit by the aging population as the country’s economically active population will start to decrease from 2017′s 37.63 million and reach 27.72 million in 2045.
The number of economically active people is projected to go down at the sharpest clip in Seoul over the 30-year period as 5.08 million Seoulites will be aged between 15 and 64 in 2045, down 2.46 million, or 32.6 percent, from 7.54 million in 2015.
There will be 1.58 million economically active people in Busan in 2045, down from 2.55 million recorded 30 years earlier.’
South Korea’s entire population is estimated to hit 51.05 million in 2045, nearly on a par with the 2015 figure, after peaking at 52.96 million in 2031.