The Korea Herald

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Education an increasing driver for people moving to Seoul

By Park Jun-hee

Published : April 15, 2024 - 14:46

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An apartment complex in Seoul (Yonhap) An apartment complex in Seoul (Yonhap)

Despite soaring home prices and uncertainties in the real estate market driving Seoulites out of town, the number of South Koreans who moved to Seoul last year for education reached a record high, government data showed Monday.

According to the latest Korean Statistical Information Service data on the number of people who moved to Seoul from other cities and provinces, more than 1.2 million people relocated to Seoul last year.

Of the total, some 92,000 people said their main reason for relocation to the capital city was for educational purposes, up 4,000 from 88,000 in 2022, reflecting the continued demand for education here. The figure stood at 76,000 in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools shifted to online classes.

Among the 25 districts, 9,100 people relocated to Gangnam-gu in Southern Seoul. The neighborhood boasts the best highest-ranked districts in terms of how many students they send to the nation’s top universities. It also has Daechi-dong, which is home to thousands of elite private academies, or hagwon.

Other areas were Gwanak-gu, with 7,300 people, followed by Seongbuk-gu, Dongdaemun-gu, Nowon-gu, Dongjak-gu and Seodaemun-gu.

In addition to education, employment opportunities and better access to transportation and cultural facilities also drew people to Seoul.

Some 290,000 people moved to Seoul for employment last year, up 23,000 from 2013. In the same period, 76,000 people relocated to the capital to seek better living environments.

The number of people who moved to Seoul for housing reasons, such as after their rental contracts expired, was 383,000 last year, just half the figure of 682,000 in 2013.

People moving into Seoul for family reasons also declined from 323,000 in 2013 to 272,000 in 2023, according to the data.