|Population growth rate
||14.60 births per 1,000 population
|65 years and above
||0.94 M / F
||212.74 residents per kmē
|(Z 2008) P'yongyang (Pyongyang) 2,581,076, Hamhung
703,610, Ch'ongjin 614,892, Sinuiju 334,031, Wonsan 328,467, Namp'o
|Koreans - last census 2008: population 24,052,231 - 99%
Koreans; chinese minority
|traditional Buddhists and Confucians, some Christians
and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way) Note: autonomous
religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored
religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom
|Human Development Index (HDI)
People in North Korea
North Korea is an unusual country. The people there
live isolated from the rest of the world and it is
difficult to know what the people there really think and
how they live.
North Korea is ruled by a dictator, but the "Eternal
President" Kim Il-sung is present everywhere, although
he has been dead since 1994. After his death, he is
considered the country's head of state.
The current head of state Kim Jong-un is the grandson
of Kim Il-sung and son of Kim Jong-il, his predecessor.
Sounds kind of complicated, but it's not: Three
dictators ruled the country one after the other and the
current one is called Kim Jong-un.
Enthusiasm for the state
In contrast to his two predecessors, you don't see
any pictures of the current head of state Kim Jong-un
except in a few magazines and brochures in the country.
However, father and grandfather can be seen everywhere.
They are immortalized in pictures and statues throughout
the country and are worshiped like gods. We do not know
whether the people really revere their heads of state as
is claimed. A large part of the population is actually
convinced of this. This enthusiasm often seems strange
to visitors to the country. Some things like the eternal
bows to the former rulers seem completely exaggerated.
Do they all bow voluntarily because they are convinced
of it? Anyone who does not have to expect severe
A good life for everyone?
Those who travel to North Korea have to be prepared
for the fact that tourists are strictly controlled. The
country is at its best, so the hotels are also geared
towards tourists. You can eat, live and live well here.
But whether the normal population also gets all these
luxury goods remains questionable.
Who lives in North Korea?
It is not known exactly how many people live in North
Korea. It should be around 25 million, but there are
only estimates and no numbers that can be substantiated.
Most people live in the big cities, of which the capital
Pyongyang is the largest and most populous with just
under three million residents.
Almost all of North Korea's residents are Koreans.
There are a few Chinese and a few Russians living there,
but overall this population group does not make up more
than one percent of the population. The most important
language is Korean, but Chinese and Russian are also
Languages in North Korea
Religions in North Korea
As it is a socialist system, religion is not
considered important. Most Koreans have no denomination,
so they do not belong to any religion. Many people in
this part of Asia are Buddhists or followers of
Confucianism. Some Koreans advocate shamanismor mixed
forms of different religions. In the period from 1949 to
1952, i.e. at the beginning of Kim Il-sung's rule and
during the Korean War, the churches in the country were
destroyed and many priests were killed or sent to camps.
Since then, there are no longer any Christian
communities in North Korea. Although the North Korean
Constitution provides for the freedom to practice one's
religion, it is practically non-existent. Many people
who belong to one religion, especially the Christian
religion, are persecuted and often sent to prison camps.