Although there are many similarities between K-pop and American pop, one thing that has long been a striking difference between the two industries is how each approaches boy bands and girl bands. In K-pop, not only do these groups practically own the entertainment world, but the amount of members in one unit can sometimes dwarf most American bands.
In K-pop, the average number of members a group has is usually 7, but a lot of fans are receptive to boy bands and girl bands with way more people than that. Read on below to see a comprehensive list of currently active groups with more than 10 members—including one with over 20.
Super Junior – 10 members
Super Junior is one of the original “large” K-pop groups. They debuted in 2005 with 12 members. Super Junior was initially supposed to be a rotating group with members going in and out every year. However, this concept was quickly abandoned in 2006.
In any case, Super Junior’s lineup has changed quite a bit over the years. Today, they consist of 10 members, but only 9 are active ones.
Golden Child – 10 members
Golden Child debuted in 2017 with 11 people, but member Park Jaeseok left after a few months due to health issues.
Since their debut, Golden Child’s albums have all charted in the top 10 in South Korea. They have also won four awards, including a number 1 spot music show M Countdown.
The Boyz – 11 members
The Boyz debuted in late 2017 originally with 12 members. However, member Hwall left the group 2 years later due to health reasons.
Since their debut, The Boyz has been recognized as one of the top rookie groups in K-pop. They have won numerous awards, including domestic and international ones. The group even won the show Road to Kingdom, in which they competed against other K-pop boy bands.
Loona – 12 members
Loona consists of 12 members, each of whom was revealed every month from 2016 to 2017. They officially debuted in 2018, but the group released a lot of pre-debut music before then.
Since their inception, Loona has gained a large following worldwide. Their singles have all charted on the U.S. World chart, and they even appeared at KCON 2019 in Los Angeles.
IZ*ONE – 12 members
IZ*ONE was formed on the reality show Produce 48, which is the third season of the popular Korean franchise Produce 101. This season was special in that it was a collaboration between Korea and Japan. Throughout the summer of 2018, fans voted for 12 contestants to be in the final lineup. The end result was IZ*ONE, which consists of 9 Korean members and 3 Japanese members.
IZ*ONE has found success in both Korea and Japan, charting high and winning awards in both countries. However, the group is only a temporary one and will disband in 2021.
Treasure – 12 members
Treasure is the newest band on this list. They debuted in August 2020 with 12 members. The group was formed on the reality show created by YG Entertainment, YG Treasure Box.
Treasure’s debut album charted at number 1 in Korea.
Seventeen – 13 members
Seventeen debuted in 2015 with 13 members divided into three specialization units: Hip-Hop, Vocals, and Performance.
When Seventeen came into the scene, their company was close to bankruptcy. However, Seventeen worked their way up to the top of the K-pop industry and has brought more money into their company again.
Many of Seventeen’s songs are well-known in Korea, and the group has won over 40 awards in just 5 years.
Cosmic Girls – 13 members
Cosmic Girls, or WJSN, is a collaboration project between the Korean company Starship Entertainment and the Chinese company Yuehua Entertainment. The group consists of 13 members, 10 of whom are Korean and 3 of whom are Chinese.
Cosmic Girls has found success in both Korea and China. They have won numerous Korean awards since their debut in 2016. Two members—Mei Qi and Xuan Yi—also came out on top when they participated on the Chinese version of the show Produce 101.
NCT – 21 members
NCT is by far the largest K-pop group with hardly anyone rivaling them. They debuted in 2016 with 13 members before more people were added to the lineup over the years. In 2019, NCT managed to grow to 21 members.
However, all 21 members do not often work together in the same place. The group is split into four sub-units: NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream, and WayV. Most members simply work within their assigned sub-unit.
NCT’s company, SM Entertainment, also has plans to produce more sub-units in various cities around the world, so there seems to be no limit to how many members this group can have.