List of cities in South Korea

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Special city
Special autonomous city
Metropolitan cities
Specific cities
Administrative cities
Cities South Korea cities.svg
  Special city
  Special autonomous city
  Metropolitan cities
  Specific cities
  Administrative cities
  Cities

The largest cities of South Korea have an autonomous status equivalent to that of provinces. Seoul, the largest city and capital, is classified as a teukbyeolsi (Special City), while the next six-largest cities are classified as gwangyeoksi (Metropolitan Cities; see: List of special cities of South Korea). Smaller cities are classified as si ("cities") and are under provincial jurisdiction, at the same level as counties.

Contents

City status

South Korean law requires the population of a county to generally be 150,000 or greater for the passage of a special legislative bill by the National Assembly such as Gyeryong to be designated a city.

Classifications for large municipal cities

The national government can designate cities of at least 500,000 inhabitants as special status cities. This status expands the scope of administrative authority delegated from the provincial government to the city government. It can also be reclassified as a Metropolitan city if it has at least 1,000,000 inhabitants. Only Suwon and Changwon meet these requirements but neither city has been nominated.

Specific city

A specific city is a municipal city that has a population greater than 500,000 and has been designated as such by an order of the national government under Article 175 of the Local Autonomy Law. Specific cities are given powers to subdivide themselves into non-autonomous districts (일반구; 一般區) but, not all specific cities are subdivided into non-autonomous districts such as Bucheon, Gimhae, Hwaseong, or Namyangju. Currently, South Korea has a total of 15 Specific cities.

List

Notes
NameKoreanNo.
HangulHanja
    Special City 특별시特別市1
    Special Autonomous City 특별자치시特別自治市1
    Metropolitan City 광역시廣域市6
    Specific City 특정시特定市15
    Administrative City 행정시行政市2
    City 60
City Hangul Hanja ProvincePopulation
(2017)
AreaDensityFounded
Andong 안동시安東市 North Gyeongsang 168,2261521.26110.61963-01-01
Ansan 안산시安山市 Gyeonggi 689,326149.064624.51986-01-01
Anseong 안성시安城市 Gyeonggi 182,784553.47330.31998-04-01
Anyang 안양시安養市 Gyeonggi 598,39258.4610235.91973-07-01
Asan 아산시牙山市 South Chungcheong 303,043542.15559.01986-01-01
Boryeong 보령시保寧市 South Chungcheong 103,620569.01182.11986-01-01
Bucheon 부천시富川市 Gyeonggi 851,24553.4015940.91973-07-01
Busan 부산광역시釜山廣域市none3,496,779765.944565.31963-01-01
Changwon 창원시昌原市 South Gyeongsang 1,063,116736.341443.81980-04-01
Cheonan 천안시天安市 South Chungcheong 619,286636.22973.41963-01-01
Cheongju 청주시淸州市 North Chungcheong 835,802153.455446.71949-08-15
Chuncheon 춘천시春川市 Gangwon 280,5651116.35251.31949-08-15
Chungju 충주시忠州市 North Chungcheong 208,288983.70211.71956-07-08
Daegu 대구광역시大邱廣域市none2,484,688885.602805.71981-07-01
Daejeon 대전광역시大田廣域市none1,514,354539.862805.11989-01-01
Dangjin 당진시唐津市 South Chungcheong 166,782694.08240.32012-01-01
Dongducheon 동두천시東豆川市 Gyeonggi 98,06295.661025.11981-07-01
Donghae 동해시東海市 Gangwon 93,289180.17517.81980-04-01
Gangneung 강릉시江陵市 Gangwon 213,7471040.07205.51955-09-01
Geoje 거제시巨濟市 South Gyeongsang 256,979401.61639.91989-01-01
Gimcheon 김천시金泉市 North Gyeongsang 142,2771009.50140.91949-08-14
Gimhae 김해시金海市 South Gyeongsang 529,577463.281143.11981-07-01
Gimje 김제시金堤市 North Jeolla 87,658544.99160.81989-01-01
Gimpo 김포시金浦市 Gyeonggi 364,808276.641318.71998-04-01
Gongju 공주시公州市 South Chungcheong 109,750940.36116.71986-01-01
Goyang 고양시高陽市 Gyeonggi 1,040,648267.313893.01992-02-01
Gumi 구미시龜尾市 North Gyeongsang 420,048615.52682.41978-02-15
Gunpo 군포시軍浦市 Gyeonggi 284,73536.367831.01989-01-01
Gunsan 군산시群山市 North Jeolla 277,328675.38410.61949-08-15
Guri 구리시九里市 Gyeonggi 194,29833.305834.81986-01-01
Gwacheon 과천시果川市 Gyeonggi 62,92935.861754.91986-01-01
Gwangju 광주광역시光州廣域市none1,469,583501.262931.81986-11-01
Gwangju 광주시廣州市 Gyeonggi 328,940430.96763.32001-03-21
Gwangmyeong 광명시光明市 Gyeonggi 339,07138.508807.01981-07-01
Gwangyang 광양시光陽市 South Jeolla 154,164453.84339.71989-01-01
Gyeongju 경주시慶州市 North Gyeongsang 259,2281324.39195.71955-09-01
Gyeongsan 경산시慶山市 North Gyeongsang 257,902411.70626.41989-01-01
Gyeryong 계룡시鷄龍市 South Chungcheong 42,73760.74703.62003-09-19
Hanam 하남시河南市 Gyeonggi 213,02893.072288.91989-01-01
Hwaseong 화성시華城市 Gyeonggi 644,498687.54937.42001-03-21
Icheon 이천시利川市 Gyeonggi 210,565531.09396.51996-03-01
Iksan 익산시益山市 North Jeolla 301,061506.70594.21949-08-15
Incheon 인천광역시仁川廣域市none2,944,0091032.412851.61981-07-01
Jecheon 제천시堤川市 North Chungcheong 136,389883.09154.41980-04-01
Jeongeup 정읍시井邑市 North Jeolla 115,083692.93166.11981-07-01
Jeonju 전주시全州市 North Jeolla 652,234206.223162.81949-08-15
Jeju 제주시濟州市 Jeju 470,957977.80481.61955-09-01
Jinju 진주시晋州市 South Gyeongsang 347,056712.62487.01949-08-15
Naju 나주시羅州市 South Jeolla 105,080172.8608.151981-07-01
Namyangju 남양주시南楊州市 Gyeonggi 662,183458.541444.11989-01-01
Namwon 남원시南原市 North Jeolla 84,140752.50111.81981-07-01
Nonsan 논산시論山市 South Chungcheong 123,094554.85221.91996-03-01
Miryang 밀양시密陽市 South Gyeongsang 108,322799.01135.61989-01-01
Mokpo 목포시木浦市 South Jeolla 237,46450.084741.71949-08-15
Mungyeong 문경시聞慶市 North Gyeongsang 74,555911.1781.81986-01-01
Osan 오산시烏山市 Gyeonggi 208,87342.764884.81989-01-01
Paju 파주시坡州市 Gyeonggi 431,035672.57640.91996-03-01
Pocheon 포천시抱川市 Gyeonggi 154,381826.50186.82003-10-19
Pohang 포항시浦項市 North Gyeongsang 516,4971128.76457.61949-08-14
Pyeongtaek 평택시平澤市 Gyeonggi 472,141454.621038.51986-01-01
Sacheon 사천시泗川市 South Gyeongsang 114,854398.25288.41956-07-08
Sangju 상주시尙州市 North Gyeongsang 101,7291254.8381.11986-01-01
Samcheok 삼척시三陟市 Gangwon 70,1201185.8659.11986-01-01
Sejong 세종특별자치시世宗特別自治市none244,939465.23526.52012-07-01
Seogwipo 서귀포시西歸浦市 Jeju 171,431870.87196.91981-07-01
Seongnam 성남시城南市 Gyeonggi 974,755141.826873.21973-07-01
Seosan 서산시瑞山市 South Chungcheong 170,810740.66230.61989-01-01
Seoul 서울특별시서울特別市none9,930,478605.2716406.71946-08-16
Siheung 시흥시始興市 Gyeonggi 403,398135.022987.71989-01-01
Sokcho 속초시束草市 Gangwon 81,797105.00779.01963-01-01
Suncheon 순천시順天市 South Jeolla 279,540907.41308.11949-08-14
Suwon 수원시水原市 Gyeonggi 1,194,276121.099862.71949-08-14
Taebaek 태백시太白市 Gangwon 46,892303.57154.51981-07-01
Tongyeong 통영시統營市 South Gyeongsang 138,001238.85577.81955-09-01
Uijeongbu 의정부시議政府市 Gyeonggi 438,75381.595377.51963-01-01
Uiwang 의왕시儀旺市 Gyeonggi 156,41054.002896.51989-01-01
Ulsan 울산광역시蔚山廣域市none1,117,6561057.501056.91997-07-15
Wonju 원주시原州市 Gangwon 338,374872.56387.81955-09-01
Yangju 양주시楊州市 Gyeonggi 205,977309.77664.92003-10-19
Yangsan 양산시梁山市 South Gyeongsang 318,836485.18657.11996-03-01
Yeoju 여주시驪州市 Gyeonggi 111,558608.64183.32013-09-23
Yeongcheon 영천시永川市 North Gyeongsang 100,384920.29109.11981-07-01
Yeongju 영주시榮州市 North Gyeongsang 109,281669.05163.31980-04-01
Yeosu 여수시麗水市 South Jeolla 288,818501.27576.21949-08-14
Yongin 용인시龍仁市 Gyeonggi 991,622591.361676.81996-03-01

Renamed cities

BeforeHangulHanjaAfterHangulHanjaRenamed date
Chungmu충무시忠武市 Tongyeong 통영시統營市1995-01-01
Daecheon대천시大川市 Boryeong 보령시保寧市1995-01-01
Donggwangyang동광양시東光陽市 Gwangyang 광양시光陽市1995-01-01
Geumseong금성시錦城市 Naju 나주시羅州市1986-01-01
Gyeongseong경성부京城府 Seoul 서울특별자유시特別自由市1946-08-16
Iri이리시裡里市 Iksan 익산시益山市1995-05-10
Jangseungpo장승포시長承浦市 Geoje 거제시巨濟市1995-01-01
Jeomchon점촌시店村市 Mungyeong 문경시聞慶市1995-01-01
Jeongju정주시井州市 Jeongeup 정읍시井邑市1995-01-01
Migeum미금시渼金市 Namyangju 남양주시南楊州市1995-01-01
Onyang온양시溫陽市 Asan 아산시牙山市1995-01-01
Samcheonpo삼천포시三千浦市 Sacheon 사천시泗川市1995-05-10

Dissolved cities

CityHangulHanjaFoundedDissolvedMerged division
Busan 부산부釜山府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Busan 부산시釜山市1949-08-151963-01-01upgraded into a Directly-administered city and changed into a Metropolitan city in 1995-01-01
Cheongju 청주부淸州府1946-06-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Chuncheon 춘천부春川府1946-06-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Daegu 대구부大邱府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Daegu 대구시大邱市1949-08-151981-07-01upgraded into a Directly-administered city and changed into a Metropolitan city in 1995-01-01
Daejeon 대전부大田府1935-10-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Daejeon 대전시大田市1949-08-151989-01-01upgraded into a Directly-administered city and changed into a Metropolitan city in 1995-01-01
Gunsan 군산부群山府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Gwangju 광주부光州府1935-10-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Gwangju 광주시光州市1949-08-151986-11-01upgraded into a Directly-administered city and changed into a Metropolitan city in 1995-01-01
Gyeongseong 경성부京城府1914-03-011946-08-16upgraded into a Special independent city and changed into a Special city in 1949-08-15
Incheon 인천부仁川府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Incheon 인천시仁川市1949-08-151981-07-01upgraded into a Directly-administered city and changed into a Metropolitan city in 1995-01-01
Iri 이리부裡里府1947-02-231949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Jeonju 전주부全州府1935-10-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Jinhae 진해시鎭海市1955-09-012010-07-01merged into Changwon
Jinju 진주부晋州府1939-10-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Masan 마산부馬山府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Masan 마산시馬山市1949-08-152010-07-01merged into Changwon
Mokpo 목포부木浦府1914-03-011949-08-15upgraded into a city (;)
Songjeong 송정시松汀市1986-11-011988-01-01merged into Gwangju
Songtan 송탄시松炭市1981-07-011995-05-10merged into Pyeongtaek
Ulsan 울산시蔚山市1962-06-011997-07-15upgraded into a Metropolitan city
Yeocheon 여천시麗川市1986-01-011998-04-01merged into Yeosu

Claimed cities of the Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces

City Hangul Hanja ProvinceFounded
Cheongjin 청진시淸津市 North Hamgyeong 1949-05-23
Gaeseong 개성시開城市 Gyeonggi*1949-05-23
Haeju 해주시海州市 Hwanghae 1949-05-23
Hamheung 함흥시咸興市 South Hamgyeong 1949-05-23
Heungnam 흥남시興南市 South Hamgyeong 1949-05-23
Jinnampo 진남포시鎭南浦市 South Pyeongan 1949-05-23
Najin 나진시羅津市 North Hamgyeong 1949-05-23
Pyeongyang 평양시平壤市 South Pyeongan 1949-05-23
Sariwon 사리원시沙里院市 Hwanghae 1949-05-23
Seongjin 성진시城津市 North Hamgyeong 1949-05-23
Sinuiju 신의주시新義州市 North Pyeongan 1949-05-23
Songnim 송림시松林市 Hwanghae 1949-05-23
Wonsan 원산시元山市 South Hamgyeong 1949-05-23

See also

Sources

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