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Hangul 코리아타운
Revised Romanization Koriataun
McCune–Reischauer K'oriat'aun

A Koreatown (Korean: 코리아타운), also known as a Little Korea or Little Seoul, is a Korean-dominated ethnic enclave within a city or metropolitan area outside the Korean Peninsula.


Koreatowns as an Asian ethnic enclave have only been in existence since the mid 1860s as Korea had been a territorially stable polity for centuries; as Jaeeun Kim describe it, "The congruence of territory, polity, and population was taken for granted". Large-scale emigration from Korea were only mainly into the Russian Far East and Northeast China; these emigrants became the ancestors of the 2 million Koreans in China and several hundred thousand ethnic Koreans in Central Asia.

Koreatowns in the western countries such as the United States, Canada have only been in place much later with the Los Angeles Koreatown receiving official recognition in 2008. Also many Koreatowns are not officially sanctioned where the only evidence of such enclaves exist as clusters of Korean stores with Korean signage existing only on the storefronts. In the 1992 Los Angeles riots, many Korean businesses were targeted where the signage only served to point out targets for rioters. In Philadelphia's Koreatown, anti-Korean sentiment was so strong that official signage was often vandalized as residents protested the "official recognition" of such areas, making many Koreatowns across the western countries never having official statuses that many Chinatowns receive today. Many Koreatowns today exist in a suburban setting as opposed to the urban settings of Chinatown mainly because many ethnic Koreans, especially in the western countries, fear crime that is often associated with the city dwellings and the higher quality of schools as education is often a top priority, which is why the Philadelphia Koreatowns exist in suburban settings such as Cheltenham, Pennsylvania instead of its original location in the Olney section of Philadelphia.


The features described below are characteristic of many modern Koreatowns.

Korean signage

See also: Korean language and Hangul
Ktown 1
The Koreatown marker in Los Angeles

Many modern Koreatowns will exhibit the usage of the Korean language and Hangul on storefront signs as sometimes on official highway signage. Officially sanctioned Koreatowns may also exhibit signs in the local language. In English, the word "Koreatown", "Little Korea", and "Korea Way" can sometimes be seen, as in the case with the Los Angeles Koreatown. As Korean is the official language of South Korea and North Korea as well as one of the two official languages in China's Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, there are approximately 80 million people speak Korean worldwide. For over a millennium, Korean was written with adapted Chinese characters called hanja, complemented by phonetic systems like hyangchal, gugyeol, and idu. In the 15th century, a national writing system called hangul was commissioned by Sejong the Great, but it only came into widespread use in the 20th century, because of the yangban aristocracy's preference for hanja.

Korea Way on 32nd Street in Manhattan's Koreatown in New York City.

Most historical linguists classify Korean as a language isolate while a few consider it to be in the controversial Altaic language family. The Korean language is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax.

Korean restaurants

Korean noodles-Kongguksu-01
Kongguksu, a cold noodle dish with a broth made from ground soy beans.

Many Koreatowns will have stores that serve Korean cuisine, usually serving as the major differentiator between other Asian ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Little Saigons. The Korean national cuisine known today has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in southern Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula, Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends.

Korean cuisine is largely based upon rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes (banchan) that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Kimchi is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, doenjang (fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (fermented red chili paste).

Ingredients and dishes vary by province. Many regional dishes have become national, and dishes that were once regional have proliferated in different variations across the country. The Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Meals are regulated by Korean cultural etiquette.


Korean demographics

Many Koreatowns are actual ethnic enclaves where nearly four-fifths of expatriate Koreans live in just three countries: China, the United States, and Japan. Other countries with greater than 0.5% Korean minorities include Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, and Uzbekistan. All these figures include both permanent migrants and sojourners. If one focuses on long-term residents, there were about 5.3 million Korean emigrants as of 2010.


Overseas Koreans
한민족 Hanminjok (韓民族)
Total population
(7,012,492 (2013))
Regions with significant populations
 China 2,573,928
 United States 2,091,432
 Japan 892,704
 Canada 205,993
 Russia 176,411
 Uzbekistan 173,832
 Australia 156,865
 Kazakhstan 105,483
 Philippines 88,102
 Vietnam 86,000
 Brazil 49,511
 United Kingdom 44,749
 Indonesia 40,284
 Germany 33,774
 New Zealand 30,527
 Argentina 22,580
 Singapore 20,330
 Thailand 20,000
 Kyrgyzstan 18,403
 Malaysia 14,000
 France 14,000
 Hong Kong 13,288
 Ukraine 13,083
 Guatemala 12,918
 Mexico 11,364
 India 10,397
 United Arab Emirates 9,728
 Saudi Arabia 5,145
 Paraguay 5,126
 Cambodia 4,372
 Taiwan 4,304
Others 77,147
Korean, various local languages
Related ethnic groups
Korean people


Koreatown in the Wudaokou neighborhood in the Haidian district of Beijing

The population of Koreans in China include millions of descendants of Korean immigrants with citizenship of the People's Republic of China, as well as smaller groups of South and North Korean expatriates, with a total of roughly 2.3 million people as of 2009. China has the largest ethnic Korean population living outside mainland Korea.

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture (Chinese: 延边, Chinese Korean : 연변, South Korean transliteration: 옌볜) has 854,000 ethnic Koreans living there who are Joseonjok or Chosŏnjok (Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선족), Chaoxianzu (Chinese: 朝鮮族) and form one of the 56 ethnicities officially recognized by the Chinese government.

See also: Korean community of Beijing

There are roughly 200,000 Koreans living in Beijing, including 120,000 Joseonjok (ethnic Korean citizens of China) and about 80,000 South Korean expatriates. Prominent areas include Wudaokou and Wangjing. There are two Koreatowns in Beijing, the bigger Korean enclave is located in Wangjing in the Chaoyang district. There are many Korean companies who have established their businesses in Wangjing. Wangjing also has an all-Korean international school(all grade levels) located in the Wangjing vicinity. Many of the Korean businesses in Wangjing cater towards families, businessmen, students and tourists with restaurants, bath houses/spas, bookstores, clubs/bars, golfing and Korean banks all in the area. Although Wangjing is known as a Korean district, there is also a great number of third- and fourth-generation Korean Chinese ethnic minorities also live and coexist with South Korean nationals. The second Koreatown, Wudaokou, is located in the Haidian district which is where most of the city's universities are located. Because of the vibrant university scene in Wudaokou, there are many Korean college students who live and attend universities in this area. Although the Korean districts are on different ends of the city, Wangjing and Wudaokou is connected by subway line 13.


An estimated 182,000 ethnic Koreans live in Qingdao, Shandong Province, including 134,000 Joseonjok and 48,000 South Korean expatriates.


Shenyang has a large Koreatown known as Xita/Seotap (Chinese: 西塔 Xītǎ, Korean: 서탑 Seotab) meaning Western Pagoda. Both North and South Korea have consulates in Shenyang but in different districts.


86,000 Koreans live in Shanghai, including 65,000 Joseonjok and 21,000 South Korean expatriates. Longbai in the Minhang district, to the west of the city, has a Korean-oriented neighborhood.


A 31,000 m2 Koreatown block is being constructed on north Jakarta Pulomas. Upon its completion, it will be the first artificially-made Koreatown in the world with 7 blocks and 9 buildings.

Koreans in Indonesia number approximately 40,000, which makes Indonesia the 12th largest country with Koreans living outside of Korea.


Kimchi shop by Ken OHYAMA in Tsuruhashi Market, Osaka
A kimchi shop in Tsuruhashi, Osaka

During the Korea under Japanese rule, approximately 2.4 million ethnic Koreans emigrated to Japan. Some for economic reasons, and some were forced to move during the Second World War to work as laborers. While most departed after the war, still many chose to remain, and were joined in the 1950s by a wave of refugees from Jeju Island. Today, Koreans, known as Zainichi Koreans (Korean: 재일 조선인 Jaeil Joseon-in, who on paper retain the nationality of the old Korea) or Zainichi Koreans (Korean: 재일 한국인 Jaeil Hangug-in, who have adopted South Korean nationality), are the largest ethnic minority in Japan, amounting to 620,000 in 2002. Those with North Korean ties are a key source of remittances to North Korea. There is a separate group of more recent migrants from South Korea with strong links to their home country, and there is a considerable cultural gap between these so-called "newcomers" and the Zainichi Koreans.


The Korean enclave in the city of Osaka, numbering over 90,000, is the largest in Japan, concentrated in the Ikuno Ward, where 25% of the inhabitants are of Korean origin. Tsuruhashi in the Ward is the largest Koreatown in Japan and is dominated by Jeju Islanders. Imazato-Shinchi is an area increasingly dominated by recent South Korean "new-comers". The total Korean population in Osaka prefecture amounted to 150,000 in 2002.

Edakawa Korean town in 1953 (3)
Edakawa Korean Town, Koto, Tokyo in 1953

According to official statistics in 2002, the Korean population in Tokyo amounted to 80,000, which was the second largest following that of Osaka.

Tokyo's Korean-oriented commercial centre is located in the district of Okubo around the area of Shin-Okubo Station and Okubo Station in Shinjuku Ward. Shinjuku Ward itself has over 14,201 registered Korean residents, representing over 20% of the registered Korean residents in Tokyo. Unlike other Japanese Koreatowns, the Okubo Koreatown developed after World War II and is dominated by "new-comers" - recent immigrants from South Korea who have retained their ethnic and cultural identity, as can be seen from the ubiquitous signs written in hangul.

One of the contributing factors in the development of Okubo into a Korean area was the low rents. The low rents and willingness of landlords to accept foreign tenants attracted Korean and other Asian migrants to the area. These businesses cater to the migrant community and increasingly Japanese who come to experience ethnic cuisine. Other immigrants from China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and various other nationalities make this one of the most colourful and multicultural areas in Tokyo.

The area around Mikawashima station on the Jōban Line, to the north of the city, is a Koreatown dominated by Zainichi immigrants from Jeju island.

Also noteworthy is a smaller-scale Zainichi Korean quarter to the southeast of Ueno station, and to the southwest, a community of South Korean "new-comers".


Green Mall in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi is a Koreatown. It is also known as "Little Pusan" partly because of the Kanpu ferry that goes to the city of Pusan in South Korea.

Hong Kong

In 2011, there were 13,288 individuals of Korean descent in Hong Kong. Kimberley Street in Tsim Sha Tsui has Korean restaurants and grocery stores; and is known by the local nicknames Korean Street and Little Korea (Chinese: 小韓國).


See also: Koryo-saram#Central Asia


Koreans in Malaysia numbered 14,580 individuals as of 2009, nearly triple the total of 5,920 individuals in 2005, according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This made them the 20th-largest community of overseas Koreans, and the 5th-largest in Southeast Asia. The number of retirees coming under the Malaysia My Second Home immigration programme has also been increasing.

Kuala Lumpur

There are more than 20,000 Koreans living in the capital of Malaysia. Sri Hartamas is an affluent residential township in the city which houses many expatriate families, particularly from Korea. There are two Korean supermarkets in the area - Seoul Mart and Lotte Mart, various Korean restaurants and many Korean hair saloons. Malaysia's first officially-registered school for Korean nationals, the Malaysia Korean School, was established on 7 December 1974; it had 26 teachers and enrolled 148 students as of 2006. It is located on Jalan Ampang.


About 1,800 to 2,000 Koreans reside in Sabah, most of them in the state's capital of Kota Kinabalu. Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal project in Kimanis, Papar has brought South Korean employees of Samsung Engineering to work and live there until the terminal completion in December 2013. Around 200,000 South Korean tourists came to Malaysia in 2006; Kota Kinabalu was their most popular destination.


There were also some North Koreans working and living in the mine industry on Sri Aman. This was revealed after a tragedy that killed one and injuring seven others North Koreans in 2014.


The most well-known Koreatown in the Metro Manila area is located in Makati's Barangay Poblacion. Most of the Korean businesses can be found in the area bounded north-south by JP Rizal Avenue and Jupiter, and east-west by Makati Avenue and Rockwell Drive, with P. Burgos running roughly through the middle of the area. In Quezon City, the Kalayaan Plaza Building has various Korean businesses, apartments, and a church (one of seven or eight Korean churches in QC that existed in 2005). Increasingly, students are billeted in rented houses in expensive gated communities such as Barangay Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City. And Korean Town Angeles City


There are Koreatowns in the Upper Bukit Timah area and the Tanjong Pagar area due to the large number of Koreans living in these two areas. Koreans in Singapore formed a population of 16,650 individuals as of 2010, according to the South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Jhongsing Street in Yonghe, New Taipei, a suburb of Taipei, is concentrated with stores opened by migrated Chinese Koreans, lending it the nickname of "Korean Street".

North America



Toronto officially designated the area on Bloor St. from Bathurst St. to Christie St. as Koreatown in 2004.[12] According to the 2001 census Toronto had roughly 43,000 Koreans living in the city,[13] and in 2011 the numbers have grown to 64,755.[14] The Korean community in Toronto has developed Koreatown such that it offers a Korean grocery store,[15]hairdressers, karaoke bars and a multitude of restaurants.[16] The City of Toronto describes Koreatown as "Korea Town is primarily a business district offering a wide range of Korean restaurants, high-end-fashion Korean boutiques, herbalists, acupuncturist and many other unique services and shops which are filled with made-in-Korea merchandise."[12] Koreatown Toronto is also known for its Spring Dano Festival which is run on the 5th day of 5th month of the Korean Lunar Calendar. The festival is run is the Christie Pits area and has been run for the past 21 years with the exception of 2013 when it was cancelled.[12][17] Today, although many Koreans work in the area, very few Koreans actually live there. An influx of Latino immigrants is changing the demographics of the area today.

Koreatown North is the unofficial name for the area along Yonge Street from Sheppard Avenue to north of Steeles Avenue in North York (and continues in Thornhill, Ontario to Clark Avenue). This area does not have official signage as they are mixed with establishments catering to Persians and Chinese clientle.


Korean communities in both Vancouver and Coquitlam are not officially designated as Koreatown, however their abundant population business districts do represent a developing Korean community.[18][19] British Columbia and Vancouver represent the second largest Korean community in Canada with 53,770, 49,880 of those living in Vancouver and the surrounding area.[20] The Korean community in Vancouver is located between Nicola and Denman Street and consists of numerous Korean restaurants as well as other businesses.[21] Recently several residents have been promoting the Vancouver Community arguing that it should be called Koreatown and officially designated as such.[21]

United States

See also: Korean immigration to Hawaii

The first large group of Korean Immigrants settled in America between 1901 and 1905. Between those years 7,226 immigrants, including 6,048 men, 637 women, and 541 children, came on 65 trips. Most of the early immigrants of that period had some contract with American missionaries in Korea. For some Western-oriented Korean intellectuals, immigrating to the United States was considered useful, in part, to help them in the modernization of their homeland. Consequently, the recruiter for labourers for the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association (HSPA), David Deshler, had no trouble finding Koreans from a wide range of social classes willing to sail to Hawaii.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta has a population of approximately 50,000 individuals of Korean descent. Atlanta's Koreatown is mostly centered around the I-85 corridor extending from Duluth, Georgia to Buford Highway in Northeast Atlanta. KoreanBeacon named Atlanta #5 in its list of Top Korean-American cities, citing the Korean population in Gwinnett County, GA doubling over the past decade, in addition to large stretches of Buford Highway being populated with retail and services with many signs in Korean. Atlanta also has four Korean-language television stations broadcast in the Atlanta area, in addition to a local daily Korean newspaper, the Atlanta ChoSun.

Baltimore, Maryland
See also: History of the Koreans in Baltimore

There is a small portion of lower Charles Village, referred to as the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, is sometimes referred to as Koreatown or Little Korea and is home to a number of Korean restaurants, but it has not been officially designated as a Koreatown. This developing Koreatown is bounded on the north by 24th Street, on the south by North Avenue, on the west by Maryland Avenue, and on the east by St. Paul Street. Meanwhile, suburban Ellicott City, Maryland has also developed a Koreatown, along Route 40.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's Koreatown is in Allston Village and includes parts of Cambridge Street and Brighton, Harvard, and Commonwealth Avenues, with a growing Korean and Korean American residential and commercial presence.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood has been referred to as Chicago's "Koreatown" since the 1980s. The majority of Korean shops in Albany Park can be found along Lawrence Avenue (4800 North) between Kedzie (3200 West) and Pulaski (4000 West). This particular section of Lawrence Avenue has been officially designated by the city of Chicago as "Seoul Drive" because of the multitude of Korean-owned enterprises on the street. Although many of the Korean Americans in the neighborhood have been moving to the north suburbs in recent years, it still retains its Korean flavor. Every year there is a Korean festival, and the neighborhood is home to a Korean television station (WOCH-CD Ch. 41) and radio station (1330 AM) as well as two Korean-language newspapers. There are still many Korean businesses interspersed among the newer Mexican bakeries and Middle Eastern grocery stores. Approximately 45% of the businesses on this particular stretch of Lawrence Avenue are owned by Korean-Americans.

Dallas, Texas

A sizable Koreatown can be found in Dallas, though this mostly commercial area of the city has not been officially designated as such. Dallas has the largest Korean American community in Texas and second (to Atlanta) in the southern United States. Instead, large signs situated at the intersection of Harry Hines Boulevard and Royal Lane proclaim the area as the Asian Trade District. The signs also feature depictions of a red and blue "taeguk," a symbol that is prominently featured on the national flag of South Korea, thereby acknowledging the specifically Korean affiliation of the district. This area in the northwest part of the city is characterized by a large number of Korean-owned businesses serving the city's sizable Korean American community. Although Korean business is undoubtedly the most dominant in the area, there are isolated Chinese and Vietnamese businesses as well. Another Koreatown can be found in Carrollton, Texas, which is part of the greater DFW area. This area is referred to as "New Koreatown" by locals, due to it growing from the arrival of Hmart to the city. Over the years, more and more restaurants and shops have opened around the Hmart.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Korean businesses congregate on Keeaumoku Street, which earned the nickname "Koreamoku." Although it has not been officially designated as a Koreatown, the Koreatown designation has been considered by the State of Hawaii within the past few years.

Houston, Texas

Spring Branch in Houston is considered to have the largest Koreatown in the Houston area.

Denver, Colorado

Metro Denver’s most distinct, though not officially designated, Korean neighborhood lies in Aurora, immediately east of Denver. The stretch of Parker Road roughly between I-225 and East Jewell Avenue is largely commercial in nature and is dotted with Korean supermarkets, restaurants, and shops. Much of the business signage displays both English and Korean, though some businesses exclusively display Korean characters. Though many Koreans and Korean Americans live in the vicinity, the district also serves as a regional center of Korean products and culture for the entire Front Range and is home to several Korean-language newspapers.

Los Angeles, California

The Greater Los Angeles Area is home to the largest number of ethnic Koreans outside of the Korean Peninsula. Koreatown is an officially recognized district of the city and contains probably the heaviest concentration of Korean residents and businesses. However, when the term "Koreatown" is used it usually refers to a larger area that includes the adjacent neighborhoods of Wilshire Center, Harvard Heights and Pico Heights. Koreans began to move into the area in the late 1960s after changes in US immigration laws, establishing numerous businesses, although never outnumbering Latino residents. In the aftermath of the 1992 riots, Koreatown entered into a period of development, especially during the 1994 Asian Market Crisis as South Korean investors sought to invest in the then-profitable California real-estate market. More recently, L.A.'s Koreatown has been perceived to have experienced declining political power secondary to re-districting and an increased crime rate, prompting an exodus of Koreans from the area.

New York metropolitan area

As of the 2010 United States Census, the self-identified Korean American population in the metropolitan New York Combined Statistical Area was 218,764, the second largest population of ethnic Koreans outside of Korea.

According to the 2011 American Community Survey, there were approximately 100,000 Korean Americans in New York City, with two-thirds living in borough of Queens. In particular, Fresh Meadows is home to the most Korean immigrants of any neighbourhood in the city. In Bergen County, New Jersey, where several towns are home to significant Korean populations, the survey counted 63,247 Korean Americans or 6.9% of the total population. The Korean population in borough of Manhattan has nearly doubled to approximately 20,000 since the 2000 Census.

As of 2014, there were 180 franchisees of Korean coffeehouse chain Caffe Bene in the metro area. Korean Air and Asiana Airlines provide non-stop flights from Seoul to JFK Airport

Congregating in Manhattan's Koreatown

In Midtown Manhattan, Koreatown is bordered by 31st and 33rd Streets, Fifth Avenue, and the Avenue of the Americas, close to the Empire State Building and Macy's at Herald Square. The heart of the district is the block of 32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, officially nicknamed "Korea Way", which features stores on multiple stories, with small, independently-run establishments reaching up to the third or fourth floors, including restaurants, exuding an ambience of Seoul. The New York City Korean Chamber of Commerce estimates there to be more than 100 small businesses on the block. It is home to numerous restaurants that serve both traditional and/or regional Korean cuisine and Korean fusion fare (including Korean Chinese cuisine), several bakeries, grocery stores, supermarkets, bookstores, consumer electronics outlets, video rental shops, tchotchke and stationery shops, hair and nail salons, noraebang bars, nightclubs, as well as cell phone service providers, internet cafés, doctors' offices, banks, and hotels. Approximately twelve 24/7 restaurants conduct business on Korea Way. According to the 2000 Census, a slightly larger area including Koreatown was 46 percent Asian. Koreatown is expanding eastward toward Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Long Island
Northern Boulevard, in Koreatown, Queens, New York
The Long Island Koreatown originated in Flushing, Queens before sprawling eastward along Northern Boulevard and eventually into adjacent suburban Nassau County.

The Long Island Koreatown is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic enclaves outside of Korea. The core of this Koreatown originated in the Flushing neighborhood borough of Queens. It has continued to expand rapidly eastward through the neighborhoods of Murray Hill, Bayside, Douglaston, and Little Neck, and into adjacent suburban Nassau County, Long Island. In the 1980s, a continuous stream of Korean immigrants many of whom began as workers in the medical field or Korean international students moved to New York City to find or initiate professional or entrepreneurial positions. They established a foothold on Union Street in Flushing between 35th and 41st Avenues, featuring restaurants and karaoke (noraebang) bars, grocery markets, education centers and bookstores, banking institutions, offices, electronics vendors, apparel boutiques, and other commercial enterprises. As the community grew more affluent and rose in socioeconomic status, Koreans moved eastward along Northern Boulevard, buying homes in more affluent and less crowded Queens neighborhoods and Nassau County, bringing their businesses with them. The eastward pressure was created in part by the inability to move westward due to the formidable presence of the enormous Flushing Chinatown (法拉盛華埠 Fǎlā Shèng Huá Bù) centered on Main Street. The expansion led to the creation of an American Meokjagolmok, or Restaurant Street, around the Murray Hill station of Long Island Rail Road station which is reminiscent of Seoul. According to The New York Times, a "Kimchi Belt" stretches along Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Rail Road tracks, from Flushing into Nassau County; while according to a Korean food chef, "Queens is the closest you can come to authentic Korean food". The Long Island Koreatown features numerous restaurants that serve both traditional and/or regional Korean cuisine. Korean Chinese cuisine is also available in the Long Island Koreatown.

Bergen County
Broad Avenue Palisades Park
Broad Avenue, Koreatown in Palisades Park, Bergen County, New Jersey, where Koreans comprise the majority (52%) of the population.

Koreans began moving to eastern Bergen County, New Jersey in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, several enclaves were established. According to the 2010 Census, Bergen County had the highest per capita population of Koreans of any United States county, at 6.3%, including all of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population. In 2012, the county mandated the publication of voting ballots in the Korean language. The two most prominent Koreatowns are centered along Broad Avenue in Palisades Park and Ridgefield and around the intersection of Main Street and Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee, close to the George Washington Bridge. Both districts have developed dining destinations for Korean cuisine, while Broad Avenue in Palisades Park has evolved into a dessert destination as well. Koreatown, Palisades Park has been nicknamed the Korean village and Koreatown on the Hudson. The Chusok Korean Thanksgiving harvest festival has become an annual tradition celebrated in Overpeck County Park. Korean professionals have also expanded northward into the Northern Valley area and more recently, into adjacent Rockland County, New York. Tappan, New York, in Rockland County, has become the hub of Korean activity in the Hudson Valley area. Korean chaebols have established North American headquarters operations in Bergen County, including Samsung, LG Corp, and Hanjin Shipping.

Oakland, California
Upper Darby is one area around Philadelphia where there are significant pockets of Korean people, at Fairfield Avenue and Garrett Road.

The largest concentration of Korean businesses and community services in the San Francisco Bay Area is centered on Oakland's Telegraph Avenue between 20th and 35th Streets between Downtown Oakland and the Temescal district. Roughly 150 Korean-owned businesses are located in the neighborhood, including a shopping center and Korean American community centers. This segment of Telegraph Avenue is lined with bright banners proclaiming the district as "Koreatown-Northgate" with the slogan "Oakland's got Seoul," and accompanied by an annual cultural festival. Officially named "Koreatown-Northgate", the area was characterized by urban decay before Korean Americans began opening businesses and reviving the area in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Before 1991, the area was characterized by homelessness and crime and was known as the Northgate district. The aftermath of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 also saw a large number of Koreans from Southern California moving to the Bay Area and opening businesses and buying property in the district on a large scale. There has been criticism from the non-Korean residents about the city officially naming the district Koreatown, mostly from the African American population who form the majority in the area. Despite Korean Americans owning much of the property in the neighborhood, the largest group of residents still remains African American. Tensions remain between African Americans and Koreans in the neighborhood, which has witnessed declines in both populations. Despite some Koreans continuing to move into the neighborhood, the majority of the Bay Area's Korean population is concentrated in the suburbs surrounding Oakland and in the South Bay.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
CheltTwp 09
Professional offices along Cheltenham Avenue in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, another area in the Delaware Valley encompassing Greater Philadelphia that has a significant Korean population.

Philadelphia's first Koreatown was located in the Olney section of the city. Since the late 1980s, the Korean community has expanded to the north and now straddles the border between Philadelphia proper and the suburb of Cheltenham, though many Korean-American businesses and organizations and some residents remain in Olney and adjoining neighborhoods. Upper Darby Township, bordering West Philadelphia, also has a large Korean-American population; meanwhile, a rapidly growing Korean population and commercial presence has emerged in nearby suburban Cherry Hill, New Jersey since 2010, centered along Marlton Pike.

Washington, D.C.

Koreatown in Annandale, Virginia starts at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Hummer Road, runs for 1.5 miles to the turnpike's intersection with Evergreen Lane, and provides a hub for the 93,787 individuals of Korean descent residing in the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area, as estimated by the 2009 American Community Survey. According to the Boston Globe, over 1,000 Korean-owned businesses are in Annandale. They cater to Koreans as well as non-Koreans. Businesses and establishments include accountants, banks, bakeries, billiards, bookstores, churches, college preparatory classrooms, cybercafés, department stores, newspapers, optometrists, real estate offices, restaurants and salons.

Mexico City, Mexico

Korean businesses on Florencia Street in Mexico City.

Most of Mexico City’s Korean population lives in and around Zona Rosa. According to the newspaper Reforma, there are at least 1,000 Koreans living in Zona Rosa and about 3,000 total in Colonia Juárez, the larger official neighborhood of which Zona Rosa is a part. The area around Hamburgo, Praga, Florencia, and Biarritz streets converted into “Pequeño Seul,” or Little Seoul in the 1990s before receding since then.

Latin America

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires's 'Barrio Coreano' is in the neighborhood of Flores, specifically in the south of this neighborhood. The primary artery of the district is Carabobo Avenue, which houses various Korean businesses and organizations, including restaurants, beauty salons, a Korean school (Instituto Coreano Argentino) and churches, among others. In recent years, there has been a huge move from the Bajo Flores towards the Avellaneda Avenue, the reason being the increasing theft and insecurity around the slums close to Av. Castanares. What some might call these days "The New Koreatown" has been increasing in size at a faster rate while the shops in Av. Carabobo have been closing. There are over 22,000 Koreans in Argentina, most of them in Buenos Aires, where the Asian population is around 2.5%.

São Paulo, Brazil

Brazil has several Korean enclaves but, recently a Koreatown was formed in Bom Retiro a densely populated area of Brazil's biggest city, São Paulo.

The Korean consulate in Brazil said that the municipal government in São Paulo has designated Bom Retiro as 'Koreatown' and has passed an ordinance that will see the city provide administrative and financial support to the new community.

The Korean consul general in São Paulo said that the town will be turned into a special Korean economic and cultural district which will help attract tourists from around the world and will further promote Korean culture in Brazil. A more recent return migration has been noted from Brazil back to South Korea.

Santiago, Chile

The Korean population of Santiago is mostly concentrated in Patronato. Currently, approximately 3000 Koreans live in Chile. The Korean community is well organized and united. Colonia Coreana organizes several events annually. Among these events are: soccer tournaments, Korean festivals, and the annual Mr. and Ms. Patronato.

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Most of Guatemala City’s Korean population lives in and around Zona 7.

Oceania and Pacific Islands

Sydney, Australia

Sydney's primary Koreatowns are located in the heavily immigrant populated neighbourhood areas of Strathfield, Eastwood and Campsie, which is home to The Sydney Korean Society. These suburbs and surrounding areas are famous for their Korean population which have created a strong cultural identity for the community. These areas are home to a number of Korean speaking businesses and retail stores which include Korean restaurants, DVD stores, supermarkets, hairdressers and cafes.

Other important Korean commercial areas are located in the northern Sydney suburbs of Epping and Chatswood. The intersection of Bathurst Street and Pitt Street in Sydney's Central Business District is also becoming a popular area for Korean commercial activity which once again include restaurants, karaoke, supermarkets and hairdressers.

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne's de facto Koreatown is concentrated around the vicinity of La Trobe Street. It also now has a distinct pocket on Victoria Street North Melbourne directly opposite the Victoria Market.

Auckland, New Zealand

Most of Auckland's Koreans live in North Shore City suburbs.


London, United Kingdom

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