Are 'as' and 'so' compatible with each other sometimes?

park sang joon

Senior Member
The Koreans are a mainly rural people, but they are gradually becoming urbanized. In 1925, fewer than 5 percent of the population lived in cities.
By 1970, more than 30 percent of South Koreans and probably almost as high a percentage of North Koreans were city dwellers. [from "Super English Reading" published only in Korea]

In the above sentence, Can I put down 'so' in place of 'as'?. Is this usage similar to 'as many' or 'as much'?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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