Information about the Korean

The Korean people are one of the main East Asian ethnic groups. Most Koreans live in Korea (the Korean peninsula) and speak the Korean language. They are generally believed to be of Tungusic-Altaic stock, linking them with the Japanese, Mongolians, and other Central Asians. Korea's population is highly homogenous both ethnically and linguistically, with only small minorities present in South and North Korea.

According to recent estimates, the population of ethnic Koreans worldwide is:
  • South Korea: 47,470,969
  • North Korea: 21,687,550
  • United States: 2,057,546
  • China: 2,043,578
  • Japan: 660,214
  • Russia and former Soviet republics: 486,857
  • Canada : 110,000
  • Latin America (Brazil in particular): 100,000
  • Total: 74,616,714

Koreans are generally believed to be of Tungusic-Altaic lineage, linking them with the Japanese, Mongolians, and other Central Asians. The Northern Mongoloid peoples of North Asia and Central Asia, have relatively tall statures, well-defined features (such as longer noses, and higher cheekbones) and relatively hairy bodies and faces, features that are considered to define the "prototype" Mongoloid physical type. Although their physical height has slightly reduced, the Japanese, Ainu, and Koreans continue to inherit these other prototypical physical features.


Koreans in both South Korea and North Korea share many cultural aspects, but the political distinctions between the two countries result in regional differences in culture between the North and South.

There are around 71 million speakers of the Korean language worldwide.

Koreans in the United States

More than 2 million ethnic Koreans live in the U.S., mostly in metropolitan areas. A handful are descended from laborers who migrated to Hawaii in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A significant number are or are descended from orphans of the Korean War, in which the U.S. was a major ally of South Korea. Thousands were adopted by American (mostly Caucasian) families in the years following the war, when their plight was covered on television. The vast majority, however, immigrated or are descended from those who immigrated after the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965 abolished national immigration quotas.

The largest Korean-American community is in Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles' Koreatown district is extensive and recognized by the city. Many smaller Korean enclaves exist in surrounding communities of Southern California, notably in Orange County. Another significant Korean enclave is found in New York City, which includes a Manhattan Koreatown, although the main concentration are found in Queens.

Other Korean enclaves can be found in Fairfax County, Virginia; Bergen County, New Jersey; and Cook County, Illinois. As many Korean Americans have prospered economically and dispersed to live in suburban areas, ethnic enclaves in the traditional sense do not exist in many areas, although Korean churches and Korean-oriented commercial districts serving the distributed population can often be found.

Koreans in the former Soviet Union

Approximately 450,000 ethnic Koreans reside in the former USSR, primarily in the newly independent states of Central Asia. There are also large Korean communities in southern Russia (around Volgograd), the Caucasus, and southern Ukraine. These communities can be traced back to the Koreans who were living in the Russian Far East. In 1937, Stalin deported approximately 200,000 ethnic Koreans to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, on the official premise that the Koreans might act as spies for Japan. There is also a separate ethnic Korean community in the Russian island of Sakhalin, where Koreans brought/kidnapped by Japanese as labourers to the island and were stranded after the island came into Soviet hands after World War II.

Probably as a consequence of these ethnic ties, South Korea was the second import partner of Uzbekistan, after Russia, and one of its largest foreign investors. The car manufacturer Daewoo set up a joint venture (August 1992) and a factory in Asaka city, Andizhan province, in Uzbekistan.

Koreans in China

Koreans form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. It is considered one of the "major minorities".

They mostly occupy the north of China, especially in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, where they numbered 854,000 in 1997

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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