Families migrating to Seoul surge in 2023 due to high academic fervor

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : April 15, 2024, 14:54 Updated : April 16, 2024, 13:53
High school students in Seouls southwestern district of Yeongdeungpo Joint Press Corp
High school students in Seoul's southwestern district of Yeongdeungpo. Joint Press Corps.

SEOUL, April 15 (AJU PRESS) - The number of South Koreans moving to Seoul for educational purposes reached an all-time high in 2023. Despite the ongoing exodus of people leaving the capital city due to high living and housing costs. Employment is also one of the primary factors for individuals to migrate to Seoul.

According to data released by the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) on Monday, South Koreans who moved to Seoul totaled 1,207,000 last year. State data showed that 92,000 people moved to the capital city for educational purposes, marking the highest number since the statistics were first compiled in 2013. The influx of individuals relocating to Seoul for education surged to 88,000 in 2018 from 68,000 in 2013. However, it dropped to 76,000 in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, before rebounding to 83,000 in 2022.

Seoul's historical significance as a center for education, employment, and governance was established during the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1897). Government data showed that monthly private education expenses per student in Seoul were 628,000 won ($454) in 2023, the highest in the country. Employment opportunities, transportation infrastructure, and cultural facilities have also contributed to the population influx in Seoul. The number of people migrating to Seoul for employment reached 290,000 last year, up 8.6 percent from 2013.

However, South Koreans relocating to Seoul to secure their residential areas or due to expiration of lease contracts significantly decreased to 383,000 in 2023, down 44.9 percent from 2013. KB Real Estate's data revealed that the average price for an apartment in Seoul in December 2023 was about 1.2 billion won ($867,992), which is more than twice the country's average apartment price of 500 million won. Apartment complexes are one of the most commonly found forms of homes in the capital city.

About 3,506,000 people left Seoul between 1990 and 2023. The total population of Seoul dropped from 12,220,000 in 2015 to below 10 million the following year, continuing to decline until it reached 9,386,000 in 2023.
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