Sampo generation

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Sampo Generation (Korean: 삼포세대) is a new term in South Korea referring to a generation that gives up courtship, marriage, and childbirth. Many of the young generation have given up those three things because of social pressures and economical problems such as rocketing prices, tuition, housing prices, and so on in South Korea.[1] This group is similar to the 'Satori Generation' in Japan.[2]

The origin of the word[edit]

This term was used by the special reports team of Kyunghyang Shinmun when they published "talking about the welfare state (ko:복지국가를 말한다)".[3] They defined this group as the rising generation who had unstable jobs, high student loan payments, precarious preparation for employment, etc., and who postponed love, marriage, and childbirth without any prospective plan.[4] This word and its definition started rapidly to spread through various media and the internet.The burden of starting a family in South Korea reached the limit because the family has been taking over welfare duties that South Korea's government isn't willing to provide or accept responsibility for. Eventually Sampo generation showed that the structure of the traditional family unit was disintegrating at an alarming rate.

New economics of marriage[edit]

Regarding this term, Korean marriage trends are changing. According to marriage consultancy Duo, over 34 percent of 1,446 women surveyed prioritized financial capability and job in choosing a future husband, followed by 30 percent putting greatest importance on personality and 9 percent on looks. In modern society, singledom has arguably become a greater problem than unemployment, not because people have failed to meet the right one, but because they lack the economic power to marry and start their own families.[5]


Reason to be Sampo Generation in South Korea[edit]

Reason to be Sampo Generation[6]
There's no money to save
It's difficult even though he/she has money
It's hard to get a job
Take-home pay is low
Personal debt is high

Sampo generation in different countries[edit]

  • United States : Many members of the Millennial generation and late Generation X also belong to the Boomerang Generation, which live with their parents after they would normally be considered old enough to live on their own. This social phenomenon is mainly caused by high unemployment rates coupled with various economic downturns, and in turn, many Boomerang children postpone romance and marriage due to economic hardship.
  • Japan : In Japan, the generation of youths currently in the 10 to 20's range is called the 'Satori Generation'. They are similar to the 'Sampo Generation'. Typically, they are not interested in luxury items, trips abroad, money, and successful careers.[7]
  • Europe : In Europe, there are several terms and groups comparable to the 'Sampo generation'. In Greece, they are called the 700 euro generation. These youngster often work at temporary jobs and receive the minimum allowable salary of 700 euros a month. The term began to appear in 2008.[8]

See also[edit]