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The largest cities of South Korea have self-governing status equivalent to that of provinces. Seoul, the largest city and capital, is classified as ateukbyeolsi (Special City), while the next 6 largest cities (see the list below) are classified as gwangyeoksi (Metropolitan Cities; see Special cities of Korea). Smaller cities are classified as si ("cities") and are under provincial jurisdiction, at the same level as counties (see Administrative divisions of South Korea).


Self-governing cities with the status of provinces

520px-Provinces of South Korea Txt.PNG
Special Cities and Metropolitan Cities of South Korea
Note: S.K. uses the Revised Romanisation of Korean.
Romanization Hangul Hanja Year of Split Province split from
Seoul Teukbyeolsi 서울 특별시 See note below December, 1067 Yangju (then Namgyeong)
Busan Gwangyeoksi 부산 광역 釜山廣域市 January 1, 1963 S. Gyeongsang
Daegu Gwangyeoksi 대구 광역시 大邱廣域市 July 1, 1981 N. Gyeongsang
Incheon Gwangyeoksi 인천 광역시 仁川廣域市 July 1, 1981 Gyeonggi
Gwangju Gwangyeoksi 광주 광역시 光州廣域市 November 1, 1986 S. Jeolla
Daejeon Gwangyeoksi 대전 광역시 大田廣域市 January 1, 1989 S. Chungcheong
Ulsan Gwangyeoksi 울산 광역시 蔚山廣域市 July 15, 1997 S. Gyeongsang


Notes

  • The name "Seoul" does not originate from hanja. The official Hanja translation is written as 首爾/首尔, which is a transcription based on the pronunciation of "Seoul", but 漢城/汉城 remains frequently used. As a suffix, the character gyeong (京) is used, which means "capital".
  • Seoul was designated a "Special Free City" (Teukbyeol Jayusi; 특별 자유시; 特別自由市) separate from Gyeonggi Province on August 15, 1946; it became a "Special City" on August 15, 1949.
  • All of the above cities except Ulsan have metro (subway) systems either in operation or under construction.
  • The Unified Changwon City metropolian area which consists of the cities ChangwonMasan, and Jinhae has a population of 1.2 million.


Provincial Cities of Gyeonggi-do

 

 

 

Other Provincial Cities

Chungcheongbuk-do

 

Chungcheongnam-do

 

Gangwon-do

 

Gyeongsangbuk-do

 

Gyeongsangnam-do

 

Jeollabuk-do

  • Jeonju (전주시; 全州市, capital)
  • Gimje (김제시; 金堤市)
  • Gunsan (군산시; 群山市)
  • Iksan (익산시; 益山市)
  • Jeongeup (정읍시; 井邑市)
  • Namwon (남원시; 南原市)

 

Jeollanam-do


Jeju Teukbyeol-jachido

 

Most populous South Korean cities

 

RankMunicipalityHangulHanjaPopulation
(2010 Census)
Province
1 Seoul 서울특별시 서울(首爾)特別市 9,794,304 none
2 Busan 부산광역시 釜山廣域市 3,414,950 none
3 Incheon 인천광역시 仁川廣域市 2,637,652 none
4 Daegu 대구광역시 大邱廣域市 2,532,077 none
5 Daejeon 대전광역시 大田廣域市 1,495,453 none
6 Gwangju 광주광역시 光州廣域市 1,469,293 none
7 Ulsan 울산광역시 蔚山廣域市 1,081,985 none
8 Suwon 수원시 水原市 1,064,951 Gyeonggi-do
9 Changwon 창원시 昌原市 1,062,731 Gyeongsangnam-do
10 Seongnam 성남시 城南市 951,424 Gyeonggi-do
11 Goyang 고양시 高陽市 897,174 Gyeonggi-do
12 Yongin 용인시 龍仁市 852,505 Gyeonggi-do
13 Bucheon 부천시 富川市 847,841 Gyeonggi-do
14 Ansan 안산시 安山市 722,598 Gyeonggi-do
15 Cheongju 청주시 淸州市 667,726 Chungcheongbuk-do
16 Jeonju 전주시 全州市 643,079 Jeollabuk-do
17 Anyang 안양시 安養市 603,184 Gyeonggi-do
18 Cheonan 천안시 天安市 574,022 Chungcheongnam-do
19 Namyangju 남양주시 南楊州市 523,301 Gyeonggi-do
20 Pohang 포항시 浦項市 510,079 Gyeongsangbuk-do

 


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