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(韓國人) / 인/(朝鮮人)
Eulji Mun-deok.jpg
원효대사 영정.JPG
의상대사 영정.jpg
Choe Chi-won.jpg
Cho Kwang-jo in 1750.jpg
Kim Yuk 02.jpg
Yun Du-seo.jpg
Jeong Yak-yong.jpg
Kim Jeong-hui.jpg
An Jung-geun.JPG
Yun Dong-ju.jpg
Kim Il-sung 1946.JPG
Kim Gu in 1949.jpg
Chung Ju-yung (Cropped).jpg
Kim Dae-jung (Cropped).png
BoA 2009.jpg
Total population
82.5 million[1]
Regions with significant populations

 South Korea      50,423,955 (2014 estimated)[2]
 North Korea      25,300,000 (2014 estimated)[3]

Overseas populations as of 2013
 China 2,573,928[4]
 United States 2,091,432[4]
 Japan 892,704[4]
 Canada 205,993[4]
 Russia 176,411[4]
 Uzbekistan 173,832[4]
 Australia 156,865[4]
 Kazakhstan 105,483[4]
 Philippines 88,102[4]
 Vietnam 86,000[4]
 Brazil 49,511[4]
 United Kingdom 44,749[4]
 Indonesia 40,284[4]
 Germany 33,774[4]
 New Zealand 30,527[4]
 Argentina 22,580[4]
 Singapore 20,330[4]
 Thailand 20,000[4]
 Kyrgyzstan 18,403[4]
 France 14,000[4]
 Malaysia 14,000[4]
 Ukraine 13,083[4]
 Guatemala 12,918[4]
 Mexico 41,800-51,800
 India 10,397[4]
 United Arab Emirates 9,728[4]
 Saudi Arabia 5,145[4]
 Paraguay 5,126[4]
 Cambodia 4,372[4]
 Taiwan 4,304
 Ecuador 2,000
Korean speakers: 80 million[5]
Plurality: non-religious and atheist. Large segments of followers of Korean Christianity, Korean Buddhism, Muism (Korean Shamanism), Cheondoism. Background of Korean Confucianism.[6][7]
Part of a series on
Korean people

The Korean people (Korean: 한민족(韓民族) or 조선민족(朝鮮民族) , see names of Korea) are an ethnic group originating in the Korean peninsula and Manchuria.[8]


See also: Names of Korea

South Koreans refer to themselves as Hanguk-in (Korean: 한국인; Hanja: 韓國人), or simply Han-in (Korean: 한인; Hanja: 韓人; literally "great people"), or they refer themselves as Hanguk-saram (Korean: 한국 사람).

North Koreans refer to themselves as Chosŏn-in (Korean: 조선인; Hanja: 朝鮮人) or Chosŏn-saram (Korean: 조선 사람), both of which literally mean "Joseon people". Using similar words, Koreans in China refer to themselves as Chaoxianzu (Chinese: 朝鲜族) in Chinese or Joseonjok (Hangul: 조선족) in Korean, which are cognates that literally mean "Joseon ethnos".

Ethnic Koreans living in Central Asia refer to themselves as Koryo-saram (Korean: 고려 사람; Cyrillic: Корё сарам), alluding to Goryeo, a Korean dynasty spanning from 918 to 1392.


Linguistic and archaeological studies[edit]

Koreans are the descendants of the peoples of Korean Peninsula, often said to be Altaic-[9][10] or proto-Altaic[11]-speaking tribes. Archaeological evidence suggests proto-Koreans were migrants from South-Central Siberia[12] who populated ancient Korea in successive waves from the Neolithic age to the Bronze Age.[when?][13][citation needed]

The same tomb style is an indication telling who lived there. The largest concentration of dolmen in the world is found on the Korean peninsula. In fact, with an estimated 35,000 dolmen Korea counts for nearly 70% of the world's total. Similar dolmens can be found outside of Korea, in Manchuria, Shandong Peninsula, and Kyushu, yet it is unclear why this culture only flourished so extensively on the Korean peninsula compared to the area of Northeastern Asia.[14]

Genetic studies[edit]

Studies of polymorphisms in the human Y-chromosome have so far produced evidence to suggest that the Korean people have a long history as a distinct, mostly endogamous ethnic group, with successive waves of people moving to the peninsula and three major Y-chromosome haplogroups.[15]

Y-DNA haplogroups[edit]

Korean males display a high frequency of Haplogroup O2b (P49), a subclade that probably has spread mainly from somewhere in the Korean Peninsula or its vicinity,[16][17] and O3 (M122), a common Y-DNA haplogroup among East Asians in general.[18][19] Haplogroup O2b occurs in approximately 30% (ranging from 20%[20][21][22] to 37%[23]) of all Korean males, while haplogroup O3 has been found in approximately 40% of sampled Korean males.[24][25][26] Korean males also exhibit a moderate frequency (approximately 15%) of Haplogroup C-M217.

Korean males sporadically show Haplogroup D-M174 (0/216 = 0.0% DE-YAP,[26] 1/68 = 1.5% DE-YAP(xE-SRY4064),[21] 8/506 = 1.6% D1b-M55,[16] 3/154 = 1.9% DE,[22] 5/164 = 3.0% D-M174,[27] 1/75 D1b*-P37.1(xD1b1-M116.1) + 2/75 D1b1a-M125(xD1b1a1-P42) = 3/75 = 4.0% D1b-P37.1,[23] 3/45 = 6.7% D-M174[28]), with a mean frequency of about 2%. The D1b-M55 subclade has been found with maximal frequency in a small sample (n=16) of the Ainu of Japan, and is generally frequent throughout the Japanese Archipelago.[29] Other haplogroups that have been found less commonly in samples of Korean males are Y-DNA N (approx. 4%), O1 (approx. 3%), O2(xO2b) (approx. 2%), Q and R (approx. 2% total), J, Y*(xA, C, DE, J, K), L, C-RPS4Y(xM105, M38, M217), and C-M105.[16][21][30]

mtDNA haplogroups[edit]

Studies of Korean mtDNA lineages have shown that there is a high frequency of Haplogroup D4, ranging from approximately 23% (11/48) among ethnic Koreans in Arun Banner, Inner Mongolia[31] to approximately 32% (33/103) among Koreans from South Korea.[32][33] Haplogroup D4 is the modal mtDNA haplogroup among Koreans and among Northeast Asians in general. Haplogroup B, which occurs very frequently in many populations of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and the Americas, is found in approximately 10% (5/48 ethnic Koreans from Arun Banner, Inner Mongolia) to 20% (21/103 Koreans from South Korea) of Koreans.[22][31][33] Haplogroup A has been detected in approximately 7% (7/103 Koreans from South Korea) to 15% (7/48 ethnic Koreans from Arun Banner, Inner Mongolia) of Koreans.[31][33][34] Haplogroup A is the most common mtDNA haplogroup among the Chukchi, Eskimo, Na-Dene, and many Amerind ethnic groups of North and Central America.

The other half of the Korean mtDNA pool consists of an assortment of various haplogroups, each found with relatively low frequency, such as G, N9, Y, F, D5, M7, M8, M9, M10, M11, R11, C, and Z.[22]

Autosomal studies[edit]

The distribution of Y-chromosomal variation from the 12 Y-SNP and 17 Y-STR markers was determined in six major provinces (Seoul-Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Chungcheong, Jeolla, Gyeongsang, and Jeju) to evaluate these populations’ possible genetic structure and differentiation in Korea. As part of the present study, a 10-plex SNaPshot assay and two singleplex SNaPshot assays were developed. Based on the result of 12 Y-SNP markers (M9, M45, M89, M119, M122, M174, M175, M214, RPS4Y, P31, SRY465, and 47z), almost 78.9% of tested samples belonged to haplogroup O-M175 (including its subhaplogroups O3-M122: 44.3%, O2b*-SRY465: 22.5%, O2b1-47z: 8.7%), and 12.6% of the tested samples belonged to haplogroup C-RPS4Y. A total of 475 haplotypes were identified using 17 Y-STR markers included in the Yfiler kit, among which 452 (95.2%) were individual-specific. The overall haplotype diversity for the 17 Y-STR loci was 0.9997 and the discrimination capacity was 0.9387. Pairwise genetic distances and AMOVA of the studied Korean provinces reflected no patrilineal substructure in Korea, except for Jeju Island. Thus, this survey shows that the present data of Korean individuals could be helpful to establish a comprehensive forensic reference database for frequency estimation.]

A 2009 genetic study showed that Koreans have no Austronesian DNA, whereas the Japanese and Chinese have some Austronesian DNA in their genome. Among the East Asians, Koreans share the least DNA with the Austronesians, while the Han Chinese have the most DNA in common with Austronesians, indicating some interaction between Austronesians and Han Chinese.[35]


North Korea and South Korea share a common heritage, but the political division since 1945 has resulted in some divergence of modern culture.


Main articles: Korean language and Hangul

The language of the Korean people is the Korean language, which uses Hangul as its main writing system. There are more than 78 million speakers of the Korean language worldwide.[36]

North Korean data[edit]

North Korean soldiers in the Joint Security Area.

Estimating the size, growth rate, sex ratio, and age structure of North Korea's population has been extremely difficult. Until release of official data in 1989, the 1963 edition of the North Korea Central Yearbook was the last official publication to disclose population figures. After 1963 demographers used varying methods to estimate the population. They either totaled the number of delegates elected to the Supreme People's Assembly (each delegate representing 50,000 people before 1962 and 30,000 people afterward) or relied on official statements that a certain number of persons, or percentage of the population, was engaged in a particular activity. Thus, on the basis of remarks made by President Kim Il Sung in 1977 concerning school attendance, the population that year was calculated at 17.2 million persons. During the 1980s, health statistics, including life expectancy and causes of mortality, were gradually made available to the outside world.

In 1989 the Central Statistics Bureau released demographic data to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in order to secure the UNFPA's assistance in holding North Korea's first nationwide census since the establishment of the state in 1948. Although the figures given to the United Nations might have been distorted, it appears that in line with other attempts to open itself to the outside world, the North Korean regime has also opened somewhat in the demographic realm. Although the country lacks trained demographers, accurate data on household registration, migration, and births and deaths are available to North Korean authorities. According to the United States scholar Nicholas Eberstadt and demographer Brian Ko, vital statistics and personal information on residents are kept by agencies on the ri ("village", the local administrative unit) level in rural areas and the dong ("district" or "block") level in urban areas.

Korean diaspora[edit]

A Russian stamp honoring Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi.
Main article: Korean diaspora

Large-scale emigration from Korea began as early as the mid-1860s, mainly into the Russian Far East and Northeast China or what was historically known as Manchuria; these populations would later grow to nearly three million Koreans in China and several hundred thousand Koryo-saram (ethnic Koreans in Central Asia).[37][38] During the Colonial Korea of 1910–1945, Koreans were often recruited and or forced into labour service to work in mainland Japan, Karafuto Prefecture, and Manchukuo; the ones who chose to remain in Japan at the end of the war became known as Zainichi Koreans, while the roughly 40 thousand who were trapped in Karafuto after the Soviet invasion are typically referred to as Sakhalin Koreans.[39][40] Korean emigration to America was known to have begun as early as 1903, but the Korean American community did not grow to a significant size until after the passage of the Immigration Reform Act of 1965; as of 2010, excluding the undocumented and uncounted, roughly 1.7 million Koreans emigrants and people of Korean descent live in the United States according the official figure by the US Census.[41] A realistic figure is probably well over 2 million.

The Los Angeles and New York City metropolitan areas in the United States contain the largest populations of ethnic Koreans outside of Korea or China. Significant Korean populations are present in China, Japan, and Canada as well. There are also Korean communities in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. During the 1990s and 2000s, the number of Koreans in the Philippines and Koreans in Vietnam have also grown significantly.[42][43] Koreans in the United Kingdom now form Western Europe's largest Korean community, albeit still relatively small; Koreans in Germany used to outnumber those in the UK until the late 1990s. In Australia the Korean Australian community comprise a modest minority. Koreans have migrated significantly since the 1960s. Now they form an integral part in society especially in Business, Education and Cultural areas.

The Korean population in the United States is a small share of the US economy, but it has a disproportionately favorable impact. Korean Americans have a savings rate double that of the average American and also graduate from college at a rate double that of the average American, providing a highly skilled and educated addition to the U.S. workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Census 2000 data, mean household earnings for Koreans in the U.S. were $59,981, approximately 5.1% higher than the U.S. average of $56,604.[44]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Korean Peninsula (50 million + 25 million) + Korean diaspora (7 million)
  2. ^ {{cite web|url=http://kosis.kr/nsportalStats/nsportalStats_0102Body.jsp?menuId=1&NUM=1 |title=Population of Republic of Korea |publisher=Statistics Korea |date=30 March 2014 |accessdate=30 March 2014}}
  3. ^ 2013 World Population Data Sheet Interactive World Map
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab 재외동포현황/Current Status of Overseas Compatriots. South Korea: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  6. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2008 – Korea, Republic of". U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "state.gov". state.gov. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  8. ^ A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict - Jinwung Kim - Google Books
  9. ^ Nelson, Sarah M. The Archaeology of Korea. 
  10. ^ "Korean people(???)". Naver Encyclopedia (in Korean). Retrieved 9 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Korean people(???)". Encyclopædia Britannica Korea (in Korean). Retrieved 9 March 2007. 
  12. ^ The Rise of Civilization in East Asia: the Archaeology of China, Korea and Japan, pp. 165
  13. ^ ?? ?? ???, ?? ?? ???: ???, ??, pp. 44–45
  14. ^ "Dolmen". 
  15. ^ "International Journal of Legal Medicine, Volume 124, Number 6". SpringerLink. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Soon-Hee Kim, Ki-Cheol Kim, Dong-Jik Shin et al., "High frequencies of Y-chromosome haplogroup O2b-SRY465 lineages in Korea: a genetic perspective on the peopling of Korea". Investigative Genetics 2011, 2:10. http://www.investigativegenetics.com/content/2/1/10
  17. ^ Patricia Balaresque, Nicolas Poulet, Sylvain Cussat-Blanc, et al., "Y-chromosome descent clusters and male differential reproductive success: young lineage expansions dominate Asian pastoral nomadic populations." European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 14 January 2015; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.285
  18. ^ Shi, Hong; Yong-li, Dong; Wen, Bo et al. "Y-Chromosome Evidence of Southern Origin of the East Asian–Specific Haplogroup O3-M122". Am. J. Hum. Genet 77 (408–419): 2005. 
  19. ^ Bo Wen, Hui Li, Daru Lu et al., "Genetic evidence supports demic diffusion of Han culture," Nature, Vol 431, 16 September 2004
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  21. ^ a b c Xue, Yali; Zerjal, Tatiana; Bao, Weidong et al. (2006). "Male Demography in East Asia: A North–South Contrast in Human Population Expansion Times". Genetics 172: 2431–2439. doi:10.1534/genetics.105.054270. 
  22. ^ a b c d Jin, Han-Jun; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Kim, Wook (2009). "The Peopling of Korea Revealed by Analyses of Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosomal Markers". PLoS ONE 4 (1): e4210. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004210. 
  23. ^ a b Hammer, Michael F.; Karafet, Tatiana M.; Park, Hwayong; Omoto, K; Harihara, S; Stoneking, M; Horai, S et al. (2006). "Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes". Journal of Human Genetics 51 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1007/s10038-005-0322-0. PMID 16328082. 
  24. ^ Xue, Yali et al 2006, Male demography in East Asia: a north-south contrast in human population expansion times
  25. ^ Shin, Dong Jik et al 2001, Y-Chromosome multiplexes and their potential for the DNA profiling of Koreans
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  27. ^ Katoh, Toru; Munkhbat, Batmunkh; Tounai, Kenichi et al. (2005). "Genetic features of Mongolian ethnic groups revealed by Y-chromosomal analysis". Gene 346: 63–70. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2004.10.023. 
  28. ^ PubMed Central, Table 1: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 28, 2001; 98(18): 10244–10249. doi: 10.1073/pnas.171305098
  29. ^ Tajima, Atsushi et al. (2004). "Genetic origins of the Ainu inferred from combined DNA analyses of maternal and paternal lineages". Journal of Human Genetics 49 (4): 187–193. doi:10.1007/s10038-004-0131-x. PMID 14997363. 
  30. ^ www.investigativegenetics.com - Table
  31. ^ a b c Qing-Peng Kong, Yong-Gang Yao, Mu Liu et al., "Mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphisms of five ethnic populations from northern China," Hum Genet (2003) 113 : 391–405. doi:10.1007/s00439-003-1004-7
  32. ^ "Han-Jun Jin, Chris Tyler-Smith and Wook Kim, "The Peopling of Korea Revealed by Analyses of Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosomal Markers," ''PLoS ONE'' (2009)". Plosone.org. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  33. ^ a b c Derenko, Miroslava; Malyarchuk, Boris; Grzybowski, Tomasz et al. (2007). "Phylogeographic Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA in Northern Asian Populations". Am. J. Hum. Genet 81: 1025–1041. doi:10.1086/522933. 
  34. ^ "Han-Jun Jin, Chris Tyler-Smith and Wook Kim, "The Peopling of Korea Revealed by Analyses of Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosomal Markers" ''PLoS ONE'' (2009)". Plosone.org. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  35. ^ "Mapping Human Genetic Diversity in Asia ,,". Science Magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  36. ^ "Korean". ethnologue. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  37. ^ Lee Kwang-kyu (2000). Overseas Koreans. Seoul: Jimoondang. ISBN 89-88095-18-9. 
  38. ^ Kim, Si-joong (2003). "The Economic Status and Role of Ethnic Koreans in China" (PDF). The Korean Diaspora in the World Economy. Institute for International Economics. pp. Ch. 6: 101–131. 
  39. ^ Ban, Byung-yool (22 September 2004). "Koreans in Russia: Historical Perspective". Korea Times. Retrieved 20 November 2006. 
  40. ^ NOZAKI, Yoshiki; INOKUCHI Hiromitsu; KIM Tae-Young. "Legal Categories, Demographic Change and Japan’s Korean Residents in the Long Twentieth Century". Japan Focus. 
  41. ^ KoreanAmericanStory.org
  42. ^ Kelly, Tim (18 September 2006). "Ho Chi Minh Money Trail". Forbes. Retrieved 27 March 2007. 
  43. ^ Meinardus, Ronaldo (15 December 2005). ""Korean Wave" in Philippines". The Korea Times. Retrieved 16 February 2007. 
  44. ^ "American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 


External links[edit]