Namsan Tower, crime, cell phones and marriage

Namsan Tower

Namsan Tower

Yesterday I went to the Namsan library to catch up on some of my Korean lessons. There are some great views of Seoul on the way to the library, but unfortunately I didn’t have my camera. So this picture I took of Namsan Tower will have to do.

Unrelated but interesting, Korea Beat translated a statistical report that the government just released.

From 2000 to 2008, the number of foreigners registered in Korea has quadrupled. Yet they still only constitute 1.8% of the total population.

The population of Korea stands at 48.6 million. Seoul itself has over 10 million, and if you count the suburbs of Incheon and Gyeonggi- do, that brings the number to 24.5 million. Basically half of the Korean population lives in and around Seoul.

Life expectancy was 79.6 years in 2007, up from 74.4 in 1997. The current world average is 65.82 years, while the United States has a life expectancy of 78.06 years (CIA World Factbook, 2008).

93.8% of Koreans use cell phones. That’s consistent with Korea being considered the most wired country in the world.

In the past six years, the number of marriages between Koreans and foreigners has increased by 250%. Think Korean men and Chinese or South East Asian wives, not so much Western men and Korean women.

In 2007, 1.97 million crimes were committed in Korea. That’s roughly one crime for every 25 people. In the United States, it’s roughly one crime for every 27 people. That’s surprising to me because I consider Korea a much safer country. Then again, these statistics on Korea don’t mention the types of crimes, and my Korean isn’t good enough to start digging for detailed government reports.

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~ by nathanhendrix on March 5, 2009.

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