One lesser-known nickname for Seoul is the “Soul of Asia” while a common moniker for South Korea is the “Land of the Morning Calm”.
Seoul’s economic strength is bolstered by the fact that 25 of the Fortune Global 500 companies have their headquarters located in the capital including automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, metals firm POSCO, LG Electronics and Hanwa Financials.
Research website numbeo ranks Seoul in the bottom 39% compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Seoul scored poorly on index factors such as property price to income ratio (highest 6%), cost of living (highest 10%), traffic commute time (slowest 24%), climate (bottom 28%) and pollution (worst 39%).
Seoul is recognized by the Guinness World Records as home to world’s biggest underground church, via a total floorspace of 90,610 square feet (8,418 square meters). That subterranean church encompasses multiple chapels and sanctuaries that can accommodate up to 9,380 seated attendees.
Seoul also boasts the Sky Deck, the highest glass-floor observation deck which is 1,568 feet 2.8 inches high (478 meters). Each floor in the Sky Deck is 1.7 inches thick (45 millimeters). Three of the deck’s walls are constructed from glass and enabling visitors to enjoy panoramic vistas.
Dongguk University, the world’s largest modern university founded by a Buddhist Order, is found in Seoul.
In addition, Seoul’s Lotte World is the biggest indoor amusement park anywhere.
From an international trade perspective, South Korea exported US$573.7 billion worth of goods around the globe during 2017. Its most valuable exports are electronic integrated circuits (14.6% of Korea’s global exports), cars (7.5%), refined petroleum oils (7.2%), automotive parts or accessories (3.5%), mobile phones (3.3%), ships and boats (3.2%), computer parts or accessories (2.1%), communications equipment (1.9%), cyclic hydrocarbons (1.7%) and semi-conductor making machines (1.4%), according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Seoul, South Korea: Quick Reference
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Seoul, South Korea.
- CL, singer-songwriter & rapper (born Feb. 26, 1991)
- Oh Se-hun, singer, actor & model (born Apr. 12, 1994)
- Yong Jun-hyung, singer-songwriter, rapper & producer (born Dec. 19, 1989)
- Bae Yong Jun, actor (born Aug. 29, 1972)
- Suho, singer, actor & model (born May 22, 1991)
- Kim Jae-wook, actor & model (born Apr. 2, 1983)
- Park Chanyeol, singer-songwriter, rapper & actor (born Nov. 27, 1992)
- Park Bom, singer (born Mar. 24, 1984)
- Eugene, singer, actress & host (born Mar. 3, 1981)
- Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary-general (born Jun. 13, 1944)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Seoul resident: Seoulite
Population: 9,963,452 (Seoul) at July 27, 2020
Density: 42,639 people per square mile (16,463 per square kilometer)
Population: 51,272,511 (South Korea) at July 27, 2020
Density: 1,366 people per square mile (527 per square kilometer)
Median age for all South Korea: 43.7 years old
GDP: US$2.32 trillion in 2019 (South Korea)
GDP per person: $44,740
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Seoul: Korean Republic Won
Capital landmarks: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bongeunsa Temple, Tower Palace, Lotte World Tower and the World Trade Center Seoul
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Korea, South, Central Intelligence Agency.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Fortune, 2015 Global 500.
Guinness World Records, Highest glass-floor observation deck.
Guinness World Records, Largest underground church.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Official Government Website, Seoul Metropolitan Government.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 2016 Cities of Opportunity Report.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Seoul Capital Area.
Wikipedia, South Korea.
Wikipedia, Capital Districts and Territories.
WorldOMeter, South Korea Population.
South Korea won its independence from Japan on August 15, 1945. South Koreans celebrate Liberation Day each August 15 (or August 17) as a national public holiday.
Seoul has a land area covering 233.67 square miles (605.21 square kilometers). The capital’s estimated population was nearly 10 million residents at July 27, 2020.
During 2015, the Seoul-Incheon metropolitan area had a population of 25.6 million people living over a more
At the country level, South Korea’s land territory extends over 37,541 square miles (97,230 square kilometers). The nation’s population was 51.3 million inhabitants in July 2020.
Population density for Seoul is more concentrated averaging 42,639 residents per square mile (16,463 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to South Korea’s overall land boundaries, population density drops to an average 1,366 Koreans per square mile (527 per square kilometer).