Nearly half of the youth population in Seoul are now living in poverty

The Korea Herald has reported that a comprehensive study conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Institute indicates widespread financial hardship among the youth in Seoul. The 2022 Seoul Young Adult Panel Study found that more than half (55.6%) of the city’s youth are struggling with asset poverty, which is defined as having no liquid assets to cover living expenses for three months.

The survey of 5,083 adults in Seoul indicates that young adults living independently have a more prominent asset poverty rate of 62.7%, which is 7.1 percentage points higher than the overall youth demographic. Furthermore, the personal income poverty rates are 37% and 7.4% among 19 to 24 individuals, while those aged 35 to 36 have the lowest figures.

The study highlights the impact of high youth unemployment rates, which are currently at 45.4% according to Statistics Korea, on the increasing poverty levels. The research also points out mental health issues, with 34.7% of young adults in Seoul experiencing depression, exacerbated by unemployment after graduation (44.3%) and layoffs (42%). Experts have expressed concerns about the long-term effects of prolonged unemployed labor, as reported by Professors such as Lee Bong Ju from Seoul National University and Professor Shin Gyeong Ah from Hanlim University.

The research highlighted the diverse financial and mental health issues that the youth of Seoul are encountering. The results emphasize the importance of comprehensive policy measures and social support systems to address these challenges.

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