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Provinces of South Korea


Provinces of South Korea

Revised Romanization do
McCune–Reischauer to
Autonomous district
Hangul 특별자치도
Hanja 特別自治道
Revised Romanization teukbyeol-jachido
McCune–Reischauer teukbyeol-chach’ido

Provinces are the first-level division within South Korea. There are 9 provinces in South Korea: North Chungcheong, South Chungcheong, Gangwon, Gyeonggi, North Gyeongsang, South Gyeongsang, Jeju, North Jeolla, South Jeolla.


  • History 1
  • Types 2
  • Administration 3
  • List of provinces 4
  • Claimed provinces 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7


Although the details of local administration have changed dramatically over time, the basic outline of the current three-tiered system was implemented under the reign of Gojong in 1895. A similar system also remains in use in North Korea.


There are two types of provinces: provinces, special autonomous province. A province (, ) are the highest-ranked administrative divisions in South Korea. Provinces have equal status to the special cities.

A special autonomous province (특별자치도, 特別自治道) is a province with more autonomy over its economy and more powers are given to the provincial government. Jeju is the only special autonomous province.


Governors for these provinces are elected every four years. Current governors are listed at List of governors of South Korea.

List of provinces

Name Hangul Hanja ISO Population
(2011 est.)[1]
Capital Region Abbreviation
North Chungcheong 충청북도 忠清北道 KR-43 1,588,633 7,433[2] 213 Cheongju Hoseo Chungbuk 충북 忠北
South Chungcheong 충청남도 忠清南道 KR-44 2,064,665 8,204[3] 251 Hongseong Hoseo Chungnam 충남 忠南
Gangwon 강원도 江原道 KR-42 1,549,780 20,569[4] 75 Chuncheon Gwandong Gangwon 강원 江原
Gyeonggi 경기도 京畿道 KR-41 12,239,862 10,171[5] 1,203 Suwon Sudogwon Gyeonggi 경기 京畿
North Gyeongsang* 경상북도 慶尙北道 KR-47 2,739,179 19,030[6] 144 Daegu Yeongnam Gyeongbuk 경북 慶北
South Gyeongsang 경상남도 慶尙南道 KR-48 3,374,725 10,532[7] 320 Changwon Yeongnam Gyeongnam 경남 慶南
Jeju 제주도 濟州道 KR-49 583,284 1,849[8] 315 Jeju Jeju Jeju 제주 濟州
North Jeolla 전라북도 全羅北道 KR-45 1,895,882 8,043 236 Jeonju Honam Jeonbuk 전북 全北
South Jeolla 전라남도 全羅南道 KR-46 1,938,136 11,858 163 Muan Honam Jeonnam 전남 全南
Daegu excluded.

Claimed provinces

South Korea

claims five provinces on the territory controlled by North Korea. These claimed provinces are managed by The Committee for the Five Northern Korean Provinces (Hangul이북5도위원회; hanja以北五道委員會). These provinces are based on the divisions of Japanese era and are different from the present North Korean provinces.

Name Hangul Hanja Area (km²) Capital Region Abbreviation
North Hamgyeong 함경북도 咸鏡北道 20,345 Cheongjin Gwanbuk Hambuk 함북 咸北
South Hamgyeong 함경남도 咸鏡南道 31,977 Hamheung Gwannam Hamnam 함남 咸南
Hwanghae 황해도 黃海道 16,744 Haeju Haeseo Hwanghae 황해 黃海
North Pyeongan 평안북도 平安北道 28,443 Sinuiju Gwanseo Pyeongbuk 평북 平北
South Pyeongan 평안남도 平安南道 14,944 Pyeongyang Gwanseo Pyeongnam 평남 平南

See also


  1. ^ "South Korea Administrative Districts". Retrieved 2013-03-14. 
  2. ^ 충북면적 (in Korean). North Chungcheong Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  3. ^ 일반현황 (in Korean). South Chungcheong Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Natural Environment". Gangwon Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  5. ^ 위치와 자연환경 (in Korean). Gyeonggi Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  6. ^ 경북현황 (in Korean). North Gyeongsang Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  7. ^ 일반 현황 (in Korean). South Gyeongsang Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Geography". Jeju Province. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
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