According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation in a report "2012 Urban Planning Statistics" published on July 11, the ratio of people residing in urban areas was 91.04 percent as of the end of 2012, down 0.08 percentage point from the end of 2011.
The ratio of urban population in the total has grown steadily from 39.1 percent in 1960 to 88.3 percent in 2000 and to 90.1 percent in 2005. Jang Sun-jae, the ministry's senior manager responsible for urban regulations, said, "Since a few years ago, more and more people have moved to rural areas to enjoy their post-retirement life, raising the percentage of non-urban population gradually."
The percentage of urban areas as compiled by the Land Ministry in 2012 was 17,587 square kilometers, up 28 sq. km from a year ago, accounting for 16.6 percent of all land area. Other areas such as farms and forests (49,488 sq. km; 46.6%), government controlled areas (27,022 sq. km; 25.4%), and natural habitat conservation areas (12,079 sq. km; 11.4%) took the remaining shares.
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