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Fewer South Koreans choosing to immigrate

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Fewer South Koreans are choosing to immigrate from South Korea, due mainly to the country's economic development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on March 6.

A total of 8,277 citizens emigrated last year, down from 9,759 in 2004, 11,584 in 2001 and 15,917 in 1995, according to the ministry's data.

"The reduction seems attributable to South Korea's economic growth and continued tightening of foreign countries' immigration-related regulations," a ministry official said.

The United States and Canada remain the most preferred countries among South Korean emigrants, he added.

Out of 125,316 South Koreans who settled in foreign countries over the past 10 years, the largest number, or 61,043, was living in the United States, followed by Canada with 51,886, New Zealand with 8,526, and Australia with 3,580.