Koreans to get younger from June 2023

In my blog post entitled “Want to get older immediately? Use the Korean age!“, I have explained the calculation of Korean age, which is different from the international system and results in being one or two years older than that calculated by international system. This has caused confusion as the Korean system is used in daily social matters and the international system is adopted for certain legal and administrative matters (e.g., legal age for alcohol drinking). The South Korean Government has decided to standardize the usage of age calculation system and adopt the international age for all matters starting from June 2023.

One interesting thing is that in June 2023, all Koreans will get younger by one or two years as they start to adopt the international age for daily social life matters for which Korean age is used before that time. For example, if you meet a baby boy born on 31 December 2022 during a social gathering on 2 January 2023, his parents would say the baby is two years old (as usually Korean age is used in social matters) although this baby is just about 1 month old by international age. If you meet that baby again during a social gathering in July 2023, his parents would say the baby is about 6 months old (as international age is adopted for all matters) – i.e., the baby gets about 2 years younger! This would be good news for people who worry about getting old.


Justin McCurry, “All South Koreans to become younger as traditional age system scrapped“, The Guardian, 2022-12-09

Lee Hyo-jin, “Korea to scrap local age counting system from next year“, The Korea Times, 2022-12-08

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