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Jeju population declining as young Koreans leave

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : June 7, 2023 - 14:09

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The population in Jeju has been shrinking, as young people leave the southern resort island in search of jobs.

According to the nation's population registry released by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security Wednesday, 677,057 Korean citizens were registered as residents in Jeju as of May, down 1,102 from 678,159 in December last year.

The population is declining as the number of births decreases, the number of incoming people from other regions to Jeju decreases, and the youth population of Jeju has moved to other regions.

The tally does not include foreign residents.

By age, the number of Jeju residents in their 40s and younger decreased while those in their 50s and older increased.

Young people aged 40 and under left Jeju to find jobs, and those aged 50s and older have come to live in Jeju after retirement, according to the Jeju Provincial Government.

As Jeju's economy relies heavily on tourism, there are few stable jobs with high salaries.

In the early 2010s, moving to Jeju Island had been a trend with young people who wanted to take a break from city life moving to the island both to live and work. The population inflow peaked with 15,000 newcomers tallied in 2016, but the inflow has been decreasing since.

To tackle declining population, the Jeju Provincial Government unveiled a 207.5 billion won ($159.58 million) plan in May.