The N-Po Generation: The Struggle with Housing Insecurity in Seoul for the 'Numerous Giving Up Generation'


  • Katherine Lally Ohio State University


South Korea, Seoul, N-Po Generation, housing insecurity, Seoul Metropolitan Government, housing, rent to income ratio


Housing insecurity has been a recurrent issue in South Korean history following the end of the Japanese colonization of the peninsula in 1945. In recent decades, South Korean youths (aged 19-39) have found themselves to be  disproportionately affected. This younger generation has been dubbed the “N-Po Generation”, or the ‘N Give-Up Generation’. The combination of job insecurity, high costs and low supply of housing, and poor housing conditions influence Korean youths to give up various aspects of life such as marriage, stable employment, homeownership, and much more. This paper focuses specifically on the aspect of housing instability for youths in the South Korean capital of Seoul, with the aim of illuminating the severity of the difficulties facing the N-Po Generation, and to give policy suggestions based on past researchers’ findings. Studies conducted by previous researchers investigating the impact on the youth’s overall quality of life concluded that in order to effectively address housing insecurity, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) must implement policies that increase the supply of affordable housing, improve the quality of housing for youth, and enhance financial aid. In addition to these policy recommendations, I found it necessary that a financial aid policy be implemented that specifically considers youths whose rent to income ratio (RIR) exceeds 30%, as numerous countries have enacted similar policies. If these concerns are not addressed in future legislation, the N-Po Generation’s fears of not being able to live in adequate housing or attain more stable futures may become an inevitable reality. 


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How to Cite

Lally, K. (2022). The N-Po Generation: The Struggle with Housing Insecurity in Seoul for the ’Numerous Giving Up Generation’. Wittenberg University East Asian Studies Journal, 45, 23–37. Retrieved from