Cities of South Korea

Revised Romanization si
McCune–Reischauer si
Specific city
Hangul 특정시
Hanja 特定市
Revised Romanization teukjeongsi
McCune–Reischauer t'ŭkchŏngsi
Administrative city
Hangul 행정시
Hanja 行政市
Revised Romanization haengjeongsi
McCune–Reischauer haengchŏngsi

A city is a municipal administrative unit in South Korea. Cities are ranked on the same level as county and autonomous district. Like other contemporary administrative units, they are defined by the Local Autonomy Law.

City status

Under South Korean laws sets the following condition for a municipality to be designated as a city: population of a county must generally be 150,000 or greater or passage of a special legislative bill by the National Assembly such as Gyeryong.

Classifications for large municipal cities

The national government can designate cities of at least 500,000 inhabitants to have the status of Special status city. These statuses expand the scope of administrative authority delegated from the provincial government to the city government. Also city with be reclassify as a Metropolitan city of at least 1,000,000 inhabitants, currently only Suwon and Changwon have meet the requirements but have not yet 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 city are given powers to subdivide themselves into non-autonomous districts (일반구; 一般區) but, not all Specific city are subdivided into non-autonomous districts such as Gimhae, Hwaseong, or Namyangju. Currently South Korea have a total of 15 Specific cities.

AreaFoundedDate of designationNo. of districts
Ansan 안산시 安山市 Gyeonggi 715,313 149.06 1986-01-01 2003-12-23 2
Anyang 안양시 安養市 Gyeonggi 614,170 58.46 1973-07-01 2003-12-23 2
Bucheon 부천시 富川市 Gyeonggi 872,662 53.40 1973-07-01 2003-12-23 3
Changwon 창원시 昌原市 South Gyeongsang 1,091,733 736.34 1980-04-01 2003-12-23 5
Cheongju 청주시 淸州市 North Chungcheong 662,852 153.45 1949-08-15 2003-12-23 4
Goyang 고양시 高陽市 Gyeonggi 961,451 267.31 1992-02-01 2003-12-23 3
Jeonju 전주시 全州市 North Jeolla 647,504 206.22 1949-08-15 2003-12-23 2
Pohang 포항시 浦項市 North Gyeongsang 517,322 1128.76 1949-08-14 2003-12-23 2
Seongnam 성남시 城南市 Gyeonggi 979,412 141.82 1973-07-01 2003-12-23 3
Suwon 수원시 水原市 Gyeonggi 1,098,010 121.09 1949-08-14 2003-12-23 4
Yongin 용인시 龍仁市 Gyeonggi 898,530 591.36 1996-03-01 2003-12-23 3
Cheonan 천안시 天安市 South Chungcheong 574,148 636.22 1963-01-01 2008-06-23 2
Namyangju 남양주시 南楊州市 Gyeonggi 580,151 458.54 1989-01-01 2008-10-07
Hwaseong 화성시 華城市 Gyeonggi 517,505 687.54 2001-03-21 2010-09-27
Gimhae 김해시 金海市 South Gyeongsang 507,726 463.28 1981-07-01 2010-10-04

Cities with more than 400,000

Administrative city

An Administrative city is a type of municipal city that are created on 1 July 2006 after the 2005 referendum in Jeju and the province was given extensive administrative powers that had previously been reserved for the central government. Since Jeju was given more autonomy cities in Jeju could not be defined by the Local Autonomy Law so this new class of city was created for Jeju. Currently only two cities are classify as Administrative city.

AreaFoundedDate of designation
Jeju 제주시 濟州市 Jeju 423,853 977.80 1955-09-01 2006-07-01
Seogwipo 서귀포시 西歸浦市 Jeju 153,241 870.87 1981-07-01 2006-07-01

See also


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