|c. 83 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
c. 7–7.42 million
|Primarily Christianity, Korean Buddhism, Korean shamanism, and Cheondoism|
|Part of a series on|
|Part of a series on the|
Koreans mainly live in the two Korean nation states, South Korea and North Korea (collectively referred to simply as Korea), but are also an officially recognized minority in China, Vietnam, Japan and Philippines, plus a number of former Soviet states, such as Russia and Uzbekistan. Over the course of the 20th century, significant Korean communities have emerged in Australia, Canada, United States and, to a lesser extent, other nations with a primarily immigrant background.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Origins
- 3 Korean origin of Japanese
- 4 Data tables
- 5 Culture
- 6 Language
- 7 North Korean data
- 8 Korean populations
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
South Koreans refer to themselves as Hanguk-in (Hangul: 한국인; Hanja: 韓國人), or Hanguk-saram (Hangul: 한국 사람), both of which mean "Korean nation people." When referring to members of the Korean diaspora, Koreans often use the term Han-in (Hangul: 한인; Hanja: 韓人; literally "Korean people").
North Koreans refer to themselves as Joseon-in (Hangul: 조선인; Hanja: 朝鮮人) or Joseon-saram (Hangul: 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 ethnic group".
In a 1902 book, Homer Hulbert said that Korea and Japan have the same two racial types, but Japan is mostly Malay and Korea is mostly Manchu-Korean. Hulbert said that Korea is physically mostly of the northern type, but also said that the nation, being physically mostly of the northern type, did not disprove Hulbert's claim that the Malay element developed Korea's first civilization, although not necessarily originating Korea's first civilization, and the Malay element imposed its language in its main features in the entire peninsula. Hulbert said that in Korea there was admixture with Chinese blood that stopped more than a thousand years ago.
In a book that was first published in 1925, S. M. Shirokogoroff said that the Chinese were a complex of anthropological types, and Shirokogoroff believed that the Chinese type was seen in the people of Manchuria and Korea.
Linguistic and archaeological studies
Koreans are the descendants or an admixture of the ancient people who settled the Korean Peninsula, often said to be Siberian, paleo-Asian or proto-Dravidian tribes. Archaeological evidence suggests that proto-Koreans were migrants from south-central Siberia during the bronze age. It is noteworthy to mention that there were already people living on the Korean peninsula from the Neolithic age, and thus it is logical to assume that there was intermingling between both of these populations.
Linguistic evidence indicates speakers of proto-Korean languages were established in southeastern Manchuria and northern Korean peninsula by the Three Kingdoms of Korea period, and migrated from there to southern Korea during this period.
Susumu Ōno, Ki-Moon Lee and Choong-Soon Kim suspect that proto-Dravidian people migrated to Korea and parts of Japan. Susumu Ōno suggest also an Austronesian immigration into the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago.
The largest concentration of dolmens in the world is found on the Korean Peninsula. In fact, with an estimated 35,000-100,000 dolmen, Korea accounts for nearly 70% of the world's total. Similar dolmens can be found in Manchuria, the Shandong Peninsula, and Kyushu, yet it is unclear why this culture only flourished so extensively on the Korean Peninsula and its surroundings compared to the bigger remainder of Northeastern Asia.
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. The reference population for Koreans used in Geno 2.0 Next Generation is 94% Eastern Asia and 5% Southeast Asia & Oceania.
Geneticist Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford University said that were in the Northeast and East Asian cluster were the Koryak, Chukchi, Reindeer Chukchi, Nganasan Samoyed, Northern Tungus, Nentsy, N. Chinese, Tibetan, Bhutanese, Ainu, Mongol, Japanese and Korean. However it placed Koreans in a cluster of populations closest to the Japanese, Ryukyuans, Ainus, Tibetans, and Bhutanese.
Hideo Matsumoto, professor emeritus at Osaka Medical College, tested Gm types, genetic markers of immunoglobulin G, of Korean populations for a 2009 study. The Korean populations were populations in Cheju Island, Pusan, Kwangju, Kongsan, Chonju, Wonju, the Kannung of South Korea and a Korean population in Yanji. Matsumoto said that the Gm ab3st gene is a marker for northern Mongoloid, and Matsumoto said that the average frequency of Gm ab3st for Koreans was 14.5% which was intermediate between an average frequency of 26% for general Japanese and a frequency of 11.7% which was for a Han population in Beijing. Matsumoto said that Gm afb1b3 is a southern marker gene, and Matsumoto that the average frequency of Gm afb1b3 for Koreans was 14.7% which was intermediate between a frequency of 10.6% for general Japanese and a frequency of 24.1% for Beijing Han. Matsumoto said that Koreans displayed the northern Mongoloid pattern, but Matsumoto said that Koreans displayed a higher frequency of the southern marker gene, Gm afb1b3, than the Japanese. Matsumoto said that "Japanese and Korean populations were originally identical or extremely close to each other", and Matsumoto said, "It seemed to be during the formation of the contemporary Korean population that such a Gm pattern intermediate between Japanese and the northern Han in China emerged." Matsumoto said that the different Gm pattern between Japanese and Koreans most likely came about from frequent inflows of Chinese and/or northern populations into the Korean Peninsula.
Jung Jongsun et al. (2010) used the following Korean samples for a study: South East Korean (sample regions: Gyeongju, Goryeong and Ulsan), Middle West Korean (sample regions: Jecheon, Yeoncheon, Cheonan and Pyeongchang) and South West Korean (sample regions: Gimje, Naju and Jeju). Jung et al. said that in the neighbor joining tree the nodes for South West Korea were close to Japan, the nodes for Middle West Korea were close to China, and the nodes for South East Korea were to the right of the tree. Jung et al. said that the Korea-Japan-China genome map indicated overall that some signals for Mongolia remain in South West Korea, some signals for Siberia remain in South East Korea and Middle West Korea shows an average signal for South Korea.
Bhak Jong-hwa who is a professor in the biomedical engineering department at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) Genome Research Foundation led an international genome research team which involved researchers from Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia, and this team announced information about the genetic structure of modern Koreans. The research team took DNA from human skulls from a cave in the Russian Far East called Devil's Gate Cave. The research found that the people in Devil's Gate Cave were the ancestors of the Ulchi people, and the research team said that the Ulchi people have a genetic structure which is the closest to modern Koreans. The research team found that what they got by combining the genomes from the cave with the genomes from native Vietnamese and Taiwanese was close to modern Korean DNA. Bhak said that Koreans were formed from a pre-existing Northern Mongoloid group, a Southern Mongoloid group that went north and an additional Southern Mongoloid group. The research team said, "Even though Koreans have traces of combinations from both sides, the actual genetic structure of modern Koreans is much closer to that of southern Asians." Bhak also said that Koreans were formed from the admixture of hunter-gatherers on the peninsula and agricultural Southern Mongoloids from Vietnam who went through China. Bhak said,"We believe the number of ancient dwellers who migrated north from Vietnam far exceeds the number of those occupying the peninsula." Bhak said, "Thousands of years ago East Asian hunter gatherers expanded over all of Asia, as far as Russia in the north, and formed the northern race. And about ten thousand years ago the southern Han Chinese developed a full-scale agrarian society and rapidly expanded. However, in contrast to western Eurasians, the southern people did not supplant the northern people, but rather the two groups intermingled." Bhak also said, "The southern people expanded much more than the northern people, so the hereditary traits of modern people show a much stronger influence from the southern people."
Korean origin of Japanese
The 1994 book, The History and Geography of Human Genes, by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza said that it is most probable that Ainu people lived all throughout the Japanese archipelago up until maybe the Jōmon period, and the Ainu were mostly replaced by invaders who were of Korean or of a related origin during the 1st millennium BC and the 1st millennium.
Jared Diamond wrote an article in the June 1998 issue of Discover in which he mentioned three theories of modern Japanese origins. Diamond mentioned one theory where the Jomon hunter-gatherers turned into modern Japanese over time. In this theory, the transition to the Yayoi period just involved Jomon society getting cold-resistant rice seeds and information regarding paddy irrigation from Korea. Diamond mentioned a second theory where the Yayoi transition amounted to lots of Koreans coming from Korea, bringing with them Korean farming practices, culture and genes. In this theory, according to one estimate, several million Korean immigrants vastly outnumbered the genetic contribution of the Jomon who were thought to only be about 75,000 people. Diamond mentioned a third theory which was like the second theory but with fewer Korean immigrants. In this last theory, the Korean rice-farming immigrants reproduced much faster than the Jomon hunter-gatherers and were able to eventually be more numerous than them. Diamond said that in both the second and last theories modern Japanese people are "slightly modified Koreans".
Korean males display a high frequency of Haplogroup O-M176 (O2b), a subclade that probably has spread mainly from somewhere in the Korean Peninsula or its vicinity, and Haplogroup O-M122 (O3), a common Y-DNA haplogroup among East and Southeast Asians in general. Haplogroup O2b occurs in approximately 30% (ranging from 20% to 37%) of all Korean males, while haplogroup O3 has been found in approximately 40% of sampled Korean males. Korean males also exhibit a moderate frequency (approximately 15%) of Haplogroup C-M217.
About 2% of Korean males belong to Haplogroup D-M174 (0/216 = 0.0% DE-YAP, 3/300 = 1.0% DE-M145, 1/68 = 1.5% DE-YAP(xE-SRY4064), 8/506 = 1.6% D1b-M55, 3/154 = 1.9% DE, 18/706 = 2.55% D-M174, 5/164 = 3.0% D-M174, 1/75 D1b*-P37.1(xD1b1-M116.1) + 2/75 D1b1a-M125(xD1b1a1-P42) = 3/75 = 4.0% D1b-P37.1, 3/45 = 6.7% D-M174). The D1b-M55 subclade has been found with maximal frequency in a small sample (n=16) of the Ainu people of Japan, and is generally frequent throughout the Japanese Archipelago. Other haplogroups that have been found less commonly in samples of Korean males are Y-DNA haplogroup N-M231 (approx. 4%), haplogroup O-M119 (approx. 3%), haplogroup O-M268(xM176) (approx. 2%), haplogroup Q-M242 and Haplogroup R1 (approx. 2% total), J, Y*(xA, C, DE, J, K), L, C-RPS4Y(xM105, M38, M217), and C-M105.
Studies of Korean mitochondrial DNA 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 to approximately 32% (33/103) among Koreans from South Korea. 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. 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. Haplogroup A is the most common mtDNA haplogroup among the Chukchi, Eskimo, Na-Dene, and many Amerind ethnic groups of North and Central America.
A study of the mtDNA of 708 Koreans sampled from six provinces of South Korea (134 from Seoul-Gyeonggi, 118 from Jeolla, 117 from Chungcheong, 114 from Gangwon, 113 from Jeju, and 112 from Gyeongsang) found that they belonged to haplogroup D (35.5%, including 14.7% D4(xD4a, D4b), 7.8% D4a, 6.5% D5, 6.4% D4b, and 0.14% D(xD4, D5)), haplogroup B (14.8%, including 11.0% B4 and 3.8% B5), haplogroup A (8.3%), haplogroup M7 (7.6%), haplogroup F (7.1%), haplogroup M8'CZ (6.5%), haplogroup G (6.1%), haplogroup N9a (5.2%), haplogroup Y (3.8%), haplogroup M9 (2.7%), haplogroup M10 (1.6%), haplogroup M11 (0.42%), haplogroup N(xN9, Y, A, F, B4, B5) (0.28%), and haplogroup N9(xN9a) (0.14%).
|Frequency of kell factor|
|by Lee, Previous series||52||1||1.92||51||98.08|
|by Lee, Present series||158||0||0.00||158||100.00|
|by Lee, Combined series||210||1||0.48||209||99.52|
|by Miller (1951)||103||0||0.00||103||100.00|
|by Race et al. (1954)||797||69||8.66||728||91.34|
|Frequency of Diego factor in Mongoloids|
|by Lee, Present series||117||17||14.5|
|by Layrisse and Arends, (1956)||100||5||5.0|
|by Layrisse and Arends, (1956)||65||8||12.31|
|by Lewis et al., (1956)||77||6||7.79|
|by Ueno and Murakata, (1957)||153||12||7.84|
|by Lewis et al., (1958)||145||10||6.89|
|by Iseki et al., (1958)||500||16||3.20|
|Percent Sequence Divergence of
mtDNA Haplotype Divergences
||interpopulational divergences corrected
for intrapopulational variation
|MA||Malay Aborigines||SA||Sabah Aborigines|
|Masatoshi Nei's standard genetic distances (lower diagonal matrix ) and modified
Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza's distances (above diagonal matrix ) for the four populations
|Diversity indices of mtDNA in seven east Asian populations|
|Haplogroup data||Sequence data (HVS-I/IIa)|
|Gene diversity||Gene diversity||Pairwise difference||Pairwise difference|
|Korean||0.9239 ± 0.0132||0.9988 ± 0.0007||10.07 ± 4.62||0.039 ± 0.020|
|Korean-Chinese||0.9357 ± 0.0219||0.9992 ± 0.0041||10.21 ± 4.74||0.039 ± 0.020|
|Mongolian||0.9454 ± 0.0172||0.9991 ± 0.0046||10.80 ± 5.00||0.042 ± 0.021|
|Manchurian||0.9462 ± 0.0221||0.9974 ± 0.0063||10.88 ± 5.05||0.042 ± 0.022|
|Han (Beijing)||0.9526 ± 0.0135||1.0000 ± 0.0056||11.38 ± 5.27||0.044 ± 0.022|
|Vietnamese||0.9152 ± 0.0290||0.9919 ± 0.0079||9.66 ± 4.52||0.037 ± 0.020|
|Thai||0.9269 ± 0.0214||1.0000 ± 0.0056||11.53 ± 5.33||0.045 ± 0.023|
|aHVS-I (hypervariable segment I): np 16024-16365; HVS-II (hypervariable segment II): np 73-340.
|Admixture estimates of Northeast Asians and Southeast Asians in Korean populations|
|MtDNA haplogroups||0.65 (0.25)||0.35 (0.25)|
|Y-chromosome haplogroups||0.17 (0.14)||0.83 (0.14)|
|Mt-HG & Y-HG||0.48 (0.21)||0.52 (0.21)|
|Results from analysis of molecular variance for 15 Y-chromosome short tandem repeats
(excluding DYS385a/b in Yfiler) in East Asian populations
|Grouping||Variance, % (P value)|
|Between groups||Between populations, within groups||Within populations|
|Korean versus SEAa versus NEAb||-1.42 (0.86)||2.83 (0.18)||98.59 (0.06)|
|Korean versus SEA||-2.58 (0.71)||3.55 (0.50)||99.04 (0.22)|
|Korean versus NEA||-3.18 (0.34)||6.02 (0.21)||97.16 (0.03)|
|SEA versus NEA||-0.14 (0.54)||0.62 (0.17)||99.52 (0.17)|
|aSoutheast Asian: Chinese (Yunnan-Han), Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese.
bNortheast Asian: Korean, Japanese, Chinese (Beijing-Han, Manchurian, Mongolian, Xian).
North Korea and South Korea share a common heritage, but the political division since 1945 has resulted in some divergence of modern culture.
North Korean data
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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 Bureau of Statistics released demographic data to the United Nations Population Fund 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.
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 and the former USSR). During the Korea under Japanese rule 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.
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 and Nationality 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 to the official figure by the US Census. A realistic figure is probably well over 2 million.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and New York metropolitan area 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. 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, Korean Australians 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.
Part Korean populations
Pak Noja said that there were 5747 Japanese-Korean mixed couples in Korea at the end of 1941. Pak Cheil estimated there to be 70,000 to 80,000 "semi-Koreans" in Japan in the years immediately after the war.
Mitsuyoshi Nakayama who was a military doctor said that there were a number of Japanese soldiers who married Korean comfort women, but not any of the women could produce children. Chung Seo-woon testified that she was sterilized in a hospital before being taken to Semarang, Indonesia, and forced to have sex with dozens of soldiers and officers everyday as a comfort woman.
Korean children in Hanbok
South Korean woman dressed as a Joseon queen
Museum display of a family in traditional Korean dress of Joseon
Museum display of traditional Korean wedding scene of Joseon
- List of people of Korean descent
- Demographics of North Korea
- Demographics of South Korea
- Korean diaspora
- Korean nationality
- Korean Peninsula (50.42 million + 25.3 million) + Korean diaspora (7–7.42 million)
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In a 2002 report ... the government reported there were 12,000 Protestants, 10,000 Buddhists, and 800 Roman Catholics. The report noted that Cheondoism, a modern religious movement based on 19th century Korean neo-Confucian movement, had approximately 15,000 practitioners. Consulting shamans and engaging in shamanistic rituals is reportedly widespread but difficult to quantify.
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According to a 2010 survey, approximately 24 percent of the population is Buddhist; 24 percent Protestant; 8 percent Roman Catholic; and 43 percent professes no religious belief. Followers of all other religious groups ... together constitute less than 1 percent of the population.
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