Tuesday , June 6 2023

South Korea offers lonely teenagers $500 to leave house

Reclusive young South Koreans will be offered nearly $500 a month to encourage them to leave the house, according to CNN.

The monthly allowance will be available to reclusive lonely young people aged 9 to 24 who live in a household earning below the median national income, defined in South Korea as about 5.4 million won (about $4,165) per month for a household of four people.

This policy was an extension of a notice published last November, targeting the group of “hikikomori”, a Japanese term that could be translated as “to pull back”, and was coined to describe reclusive young people, whose isolation from the society has become worse since Covid-19.

About 3.1% of Koreans aged 19 to 39 are “reclusive lonely young people,” defined as living in a “limited space, in a state of being disconnected from the outside for more than a certain period of time, and have noticeable difficulty in living a normal life,” according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

That makes up about 338,000 people across the country, with 40% beginning their isolation in adolescence, said the ministry.

Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that South Korea has become the only country worldwide observing a birth rate under 1%.

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