North Korea Society

By | May 17, 2023

North Korea is a very isolated country, both culturally and politically. It is a single-party state, which means that the government is run by the Korean Workers’ Party. This party controls all aspects of life in North Korea and has complete control over the media. The media focuses heavily on praising the government and its leader, Kim Jong-un. Citizens are expected to follow strict rules of behavior and dress, which includes not being allowed to criticize the government or its leaders in any way. Education is highly valued in North Korea, with citizens attending school for 10 years before entering university or working in a trade. Despite this, most citizens do not have access to higher education as it is heavily restricted due to political reasons. Religion also plays an important role in North Korean society and many people practice Confucianism or Buddhism. Despite this, freedom of religion is extremely limited as religious activities outside of official state-sanctioned organizations are prohibited and can lead to harsh punishments if discovered by authorities. The economy in North Korea relies heavily on foreign aid from China and other countries as it has few resources for trade or industry of its own. This has kept many citizens in poverty despite the government’s efforts to improve living standards through providing basic necessities such as food and water for free.

North Korea Society

Demographics of North Korea

According to, North Korea is a highly homogeneous nation with an estimated population of 25.3 million people as of 2020. Approximately 98% of the population is ethnically Korean, with the remaining 2% being Chinese or other minorities. The majority of North Koreans live in rural areas and are engaged in agricultural work, while the rest are primarily concentrated in urban areas and employed in industrial activities. The life expectancy for North Koreans is estimated to be around 72 years, with males typically living longer than females. The median age for North Koreans is 35.8 years, with a large portion of the population being between 20-40 years old due to high fertility rates and low mortality rates.

North Korea has a very low rate of immigration due to its isolationist policies and tight borders, though there have been some reports of small numbers of Chinese citizens moving into the country to take advantage of economic opportunities. There also exist a small number of South Korean citizens who have moved to North Korea for political reasons or family reunification purposes.

The official language spoken in North Korea is Korean, though many citizens also understand Mandarin Chinese due to its proximity to China and its influence on the trading economy. Literacy rates are high as education is heavily emphasized by the government and most citizens have at least a basic understanding of written language by adulthood.

Poverty in North Korea

Poverty is a widespread problem in North Korea, with an estimated 40% of the population living below the poverty line. The lack of resources and economic development has kept many citizens in a state of extreme poverty, with limited access to basic necessities such as food, clean water, and healthcare. The country’s isolationist policies have also prevented any access to foreign aid or international assistance which could potentially alleviate living conditions.

North Korea’s government has attempted to provide some basic necessities for its citizens in order to improve living standards. This includes providing food and water for free, though the quality and quantity of these resources is often inadequate due to the country’s limited resources. Healthcare is also provided by the government but is often limited due to a lack of modern medicine or equipment.

In addition to material poverty, North Koreans also suffer from political repression, as all forms of public dissent are strictly prohibited by the government. This has led to a culture of fear among citizens who are afraid to speak out against injustice or express their opinions on matters of politics or economics. This further contributes to the cycle of poverty in North Korea as those who dare stand up for their rights risk harsh punishments or even imprisonment if caught by authorities.

Overall, poverty remains an ongoing problem in North Korea despite the government’s attempts at providing basic needs for its citizens. The lack of access to foreign aid coupled with political repression creates an environment where it is difficult for citizens to escape poverty and improve their quality of life.

Labor Market in North Korea

According to Countryvv, the labor market in North Korea is heavily regulated by the government and is characterized by a lack of job security and wages that are below international standards. Government regulations limit the types of jobs that citizens can pursue and require all citizens to obtain permission from the government before they can take up employment. This has led to a largely stagnant labor market with limited job opportunities for citizens.

Most of North Korea’s labor force is employed in agriculture, with some also working in industry and manufacturing. However, these jobs are often low-paying and lack job security as employers are not required to provide benefits or pensions for their employees. Those who work in state-run industries usually receive an additional allowance from the government but this is often insufficient to cover basic living expenses such as food, housing, and healthcare.

The majority of the population works in subsistence farming, which provides them with just enough food to survive but does not generate any income or savings. This has resulted in a large informal economy where citizens engage in activities such as bartering or trading goods on the black market in order to make ends meet. Despite these informal activities, poverty remains widespread due to low wages and limited job opportunities available in North Korea’s formal economy.

Overall, North Korea’s labor market is characterized by limited job opportunities, low wages, and a lack of job security for its citizens. Government regulations have further hampered economic development by limiting access to higher-paying jobs while poverty remains widespread due to a lack of resources available for those living on subsistence farming incomes or relying on informal activities for their livelihoods.