Life of a NEET

Life of a NEET Japan

What kind of life do NEETs lead? In this article, we will introduce the causes of NEET life and what a day in the life of a NEET looks like.

What is NEET?

A NEET is a person between the ages of 15 and 34 who is not in school, not working, and not receiving job training.

NEET is the acronym for the term “Not in Education, Employment or Training.”

The number of NEETs in Japan is approximately 560,000 as of 2019. This represents 2.3% of all people aged 15-34 and has become a social problem in recent years. NEETs are not only at high risk of falling into social isolation and economic poverty, but also cause stress to family members living with them.

There are six main causes of NEETs.

Illness or injury

A person may become ill or injured during the period of employment and be forced to resign, or an illness or injury may be discovered before employment that is deemed to interfere with work, and the employment is canceled. These are unavoidable, and the person did not become NEET because he/she was lazy.

For example, there is a case in which a person was hired by a printing company but was found to be colorblind during a medical examination conducted before joining the company because his/her inability to distinguish colors would interfere with his/her work. In this case, the employment was suddenly canceled, and the subsequent job search did not go well, resulting in a period of NEET.

Dependence on parents

People whose parents have a lot of assets and can make a living without working by relying on their parents’ help tend to continue their NEET life in idleness.

In this case, even if the NEET lifestyle is viable while the parents are working, it often becomes financially difficult after the parents retire. In addition, there is a possibility that the parents will tell them that they cannot take care of them anymore, or that they need to find a job and leave home.

Tired of working as a member of society

Many people who fall into the NEET lifestyle have experienced working as a member of society. In this pattern, they lose confidence due to frequent failures at work or inability to do their job and reprimands by their bosses at work.

In other cases, people become tired of relationships in the workplace and leave their jobs to become NEETs because they were bullied at work or did not feel they belonged in the workplace.

Ideals are too high

This pattern tends to occur especially among highly educated people. Even if they find a job that they think they can get, they pursue high ideals, thinking that there is a better job for them.

If you have been looking for a job for more than a year, your pride may be getting in the way and you may not have found a job.

Relationship problems

This one is more of a case of a strained relationship outside of work. This is a case in which the person has lost confidence in himself or herself, or has been mentally trapped, leading him or her to a life of NEET.

Dedicated to pursuing their dreams

In this case, the person is pursuing his or her dream of becoming a musician, a comic book artist, an idol, etc., and is not working.

A person who is pursuing his or her dream while also working part-time to make a living is not a NEET, but a person who is not working part-time and is simply pursuing his or her dream with no results is considered a NEET in the eyes of society.

A Day in the Life of a NEET

Here is a day in the life of a NEET. Of course, each person’s lifestyle is different, but here we will introduce a day in the life of a NEET, which is the life of a relatively large number of people.

Wake up

Compared to office workers and students, NEETs tend to wake up late. One of the reasons for this is that they “don’t want to see their families as much as possible,” and many people get up around 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. when all family members have left home. Some people lead a completely reversed day-night lifestyle, waking up around 2 to 3 pm.

Because NEETs do not have to get up early in the morning, their daily rhythm tends to be backward. Some may be woken up by their families at a certain time every morning, but most wake up before or after noon.


If you live at home, you probably have your parents cook meals for you as well. Others use leftovers from the refrigerator or go shopping and cook their meals. NEETs who live at home may feel a little guilty, so they may take on some household chores such as shopping and laundry.

On the other hand, NEETs who live alone have two extremes in their eating habits, clearly divided into those who cook for themselves because they have time and those who do not cook and settle for instant foods. Many NEETs may only eat one or two meals a day because they are not very active during the day and do not get hungry very often.

Relationships with People

Generally speaking, people have fewer interactions with others while NEETs are living in Japan. Rather, they naturally tend to live at a distance from people.

The main reason for this is that you compare yourself with other working people around you and feel inferior. In addition, in this day and age, many entertainment options can be enjoyed alone, so it is possible to enjoy the NEET life even if you do not have many relationships with others.

Therefore, people who have been NEET for a long time tend to become more and more isolated from society, as they are not interested in making plans to meet with friends during the NEET period.


The bedtime of NEETs is later than that of working adults. Because they do not have to wake up early the next morning because they do not have to work, there are many temptations to stay up late because of the 24/7 availability of online cartoons, dramas, and video games. This is why many NEETs go to bed between midnight and dawn, around 2-5 am.

Even those who are working tend to stay up late the day before a holiday. Because NEETs are on vacation every day, if they are not careful, they will gradually become night owls and their lifestyle tends to be fixed at night.