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Koreans in the Joseon Dynasty

The Koreans ( Hangul : 한민족; Hanja : 韓 民族 ; RR : Hanminjok in South Korea; alternatively Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선 민족; Hancha: 朝鮮 民族 ; RR: Joseonminjok in North Korea, literally: "Korean people") are a people in East and Northeast Asia . Most Koreans live in South and North Korea and parts of Manchuria and speak the Korean language . There are around 83 million Koreans worldwide.

There were over 7.4 million overseas Koreans in 2013, and between 150,000 and 200,000 adopted children of Korean descent live in about 14 states outside Korea. In South Korea they are now legally referred to as “compatriots abroad” ( 재외 동포 ).

The Koreans on the territory of the former Soviet Union refer to themselves as Koryŏsaram 고려 사람 , in Korea they are called Koryoin 고려인.


Koreans are the descendants of the original Koreans, historically considered the Siberian people, who fully populated the Korean Peninsula from Siberia and Manchuria during the Bronze Age . Little by little they absorbed influences from other peoples, mainly from early Chinese .

Koreans are one of the most homogeneous and endogamous peoples of mankind. On the one hand they are genetically related to Northeast Asians and are closely related to the Japanese , the Manchu , the North Chinese , the Ultschen , the Niwchen and some other Siberian peoples as well as native Americans , on the other hand they are also close to peoples in the south China related. According to another study, a large proportion of Koreans, but also of the Japanese, can trace their ancestors back to a Vietnamese or Taiwanese population group in southern China (around 79%).


Main article: Korean language

Koreans speak the Korean language . The origin of Korean is disputed. Most linguists assume that Korean is an isolated language group and not related to any other language. Still, there are some theories about kinship:

Some linguists count the Korean language among the controversial Altaic languages . Other linguists suggest that Korean is related to the language of the Niwchen , an Amur language in Siberia and on the island of Sakhalin . Another influential theory is that Korean is related to the Japanese language .


Main article: Korean culture

Korean culture has evolved over the long history of Korea and differs in many ways from Japanese and Chinese cultures . Due to the division of the country and the different state ideologies, the culture in North and South Korea is developing very differently today. While the culture there is still quite traditional due to the isolation of North Korea, the western influence is clearly noticeable in South Korea. In areas such as pop music, film and television there is a lot of exchange and a lot in common with Japan. Nevertheless, the mainly Confucian basis of traditional culture is also clearly recognizable in the south.

Distribution of the Korean people

It is estimated that ethnic Koreans are distributed as follows around the world:

Country number
South Korea 50 million
North Korea 25 million
China 2.5+ million
United States 2.2 million
Japan 850,000+
Canada 220,000
Uzbekistan 180,000
Russia 165,000
Australia 150,000
Vietnam 110,000
Kazakhstan 110,000
Philippines 90,000
Brazil 50,000
Indonesia 40,000
Great Britain 40,000
Germany 40,000
New Zealand 30,000
Argentina 20,000
Thailand 20,000
Kyrgyzstan 20,000
France 15,000

See also

Wiktionary: Koreans  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  19. Overseas Koreans (statistics) ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
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