North Korea Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

North Korea Country Overview

Where is North Korea located? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is located in East Asia. Contrary to its name, it is ruled dictatorially. On the time zone map, which divides countries into time zones along lines of longitude, North Korea is in a world time zone called “Korea Standard Time”. There is a time difference of 9 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC). North Korea is 9 hours ahead of the world clock (UTC+9). Even in summer, the time difference remains the same, since there is no changeover to summer time.

Bordering Countries of North Korea

According to abbreviationfinder, North Korea is a country located in East Asia and it borders a number of other countries. To the north of North Korea is China, the most populous country in the world. To the east of North Korea lies Russia, another vast nation with a rich history and culture. To the west of North Korea lies South Korea, a vibrant nation that has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past few decades. Finally, to the south of North Korea lies Japan, an island nation that is renowned for its technological advancements and unique culture. All these countries have their own unique histories and cultures that make them fascinating destinations for travelers looking to explore East Asia. China is known for its incredible monuments such as The Great Wall, while Russia is home to numerous palaces and other historical sites left over from its Tsarist past. South Korea has a thriving economy thanks to its high-tech industry and Japan is renowned for its exquisite cuisine and traditional ceremonies. All these countries have something unique to offer visitors looking to explore East Asia.

North Korea National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of North Korea is 25,643,466, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 25,643,466
Population growth rate 0.51%
Birth rate 14.60 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 69.51 years
Men 65.65 years
Women 73.55 years
Age structure
0-14 years 20.65%
15-64 years 69.86%
65 years and above 9.50%
Median age 33.60 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.94
Population density 212.74 residents per kmĀ²
Urbanization 61.10%
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

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 penalties.

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 spoken.

Languages in North Korea

The official language of North Korea is 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.