Environ Health Toxicol.  2017 ;32(1):e2017010. 10.5620/eht.e2017010.

The study to estimate the floating population in Seoul, Korea

  • 1Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. envlim@yuhs.ac
  • 2Transportation Pollution Research Center, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Traffic-related pollutants have been reported to increase the morbidity of respiratory diseases. In order to apply management policies related to motor vehicles, studies of the floating population living in cities are important. The rate of metro rail transit system use by passengers residing in Seoul is about 54% of total public transportation use. Through the rate of metro use, the people-flow ratios in each administrative area were calculated. By applying a people-flow ratio based on the official census count, the floating population in 25 regions was calculated. The reduced level of deaths among the floating population in 14 regions having the roadside monitoring station was calculated as assuming a 20% reduction of mobile emission based on the policy. The hourly floating population size was calculated by applying the hourly population ratio to the regional population size as specified in the official census count. The number of people moving from 5 a.m. to next day 1 a.m. could not be precisely calculated when the population size was applied, but no issue was observed that would trigger a sizable shift in the rate of population change. The three patterns of increase, decrease, and no change of population in work hours were analyzed. When the concentration of particulate matter less than 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter was reduced by 20%, the number of excess deaths varied according to the difference of the floating population. The effective establishment of directions to manage the pollutants in cities should be carried out by considering the floating population. Although the number of people using the metro system is only an estimate, this disadvantage was supplemented by calculating inflow and outflow ratio of metro users per time in the total floating population in each region. Especially, 54% of metro usage in public transport causes high reliability in application.


Floating population; Seoul; Metro rider; Population inflow; Population outflow
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