The proportion of foreigners in the country will surpass 5% of the total population, entering the OECD threshold. This is much faster than Japan (2.38%), which embraced foreign workers before South Korea.
According to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Sept. 27, there were a total of 2.54 million “short- and long-term foreigners” living in South Korea as of the end of September.
This is 4.89% of the total population of about 51.37 million, according to Statistics Korea. It is the highest percentage ever.
After implementing a system for foreign workers, there was a rush to enter the country, and it is expected to exceed 5% by next year. At this rate, South Korea will be the first multiracial, multicultural country in Asia outside of Europe and North America.
Experts say that as the country becomes more multiracial and multicultural, it needs to revisit its immigration and integration policies and minimize situations that could spark conflict.