Beijing’s population is a complicated issue. The municipality (the urban and rural areas) had a registered population of 17.4 million in 2008, based on residents who spend 6 months or more in the city. 12.04 million of this total have residence permits, while the others have temporary residence.
Migrant workers, who come to Beijing to take up jobs in construction or factories, could add over 5 million to the population, depending on the time of year and economic circumstances.
91.9% of Beijing’s population in the mid-2000 were ethnically Han Chinese, although all other minorities are represented due to Beijing’s role as capital city and political and cultural center. The three most sizable minorities are Manchu, Hui (Chinese Muslim) and Mongol.
There is a large international population in Beijing, involved in finance, journalism, government, education etc. A perhaps less noticeable foreign population in Beijing are South Koreans, with an estimated 200,000 living, working and studying in Beijing.