DPRK-ROK urbanization

According to Yonhap:

South Korea’s level of urbanization first exceeded that of North Korea in the 1980s, and the gap may widen to 24 percentage points by 2015, data by the South Korean statistical office and the United Nations showed Sunday.

The South’s urbanization rate reached 83 percent as of 2010 while the corresponding figure for the communist North stood at 60.2 percent, giving South Korea a 22.8 percentage point lead, reports of global urbanization forecast by Statistics Korea and the U.N. showed.

The urbanization rate calculates the proportion of a country’s total population living in city areas and indicates its level of modernization or industrialization, which encourages more movement of population to cities.

North Korea showed a higher level of urbanization in 1975 with 56.7 percent, compared with the South’s 48 percent, but the difference has started to narrow since then, the reports showed. The South eclipsed the communist country in the 1980s.

The urbanization rate is forecast to reach 84.4 percent for South Korea by 2015 while the ratio for the North may only inch up to 61 percent, expanding the difference to 23.4 percentage points five years from now, according to the reports.

The growing urbanization gap is attributable to the two separated countries’ differing fates. While the South pushed for aggressive industrialization and export-led growth, the North remained closed to the global market and stayed underdeveloped.

The U.N. report also forecast the population of the South’s two major cities — Seoul and Busan — to reach 10,007,000 and 3,322,000, respectively, while the population of Pyongyang and Nampho, two main cities of the North, are expected to stand at only 2,859,000 and 1,187,000, respectively.

The two countries have technically remained at war since their 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Read the full story here:
Two Koreas’ urbanization gap likely to widen further by 2015: reports
Yonhap
1/2/2010

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