South Korea is about to change the way it calculates age and now everyone is going to technically be a year or two younger
· Apr 13, 2023 ·

South Korea is finally modernizing the way they calculate age, and as weird as it sounds, citizens of that country will be a year or two younger come June.

Don't believe me?

I've been holding onto this article for a while now, which is probably evident from that headline, but yes, great news everyone, it's almost summer!

And great news to you, South Koreans: You're about to get a whole lot younger!

Let's take a look at the way South Korea has traditionally done birthdays, shall we? Cuz I'm starting to get confused about this whole "year or two younger" thing.

Most commonly, Koreans are considered 1 year old at birth and add one year to the number every Jan. 1, Reuters and The Washington Post reported. Under a separate system, individuals are considered 0 at birth and tack on one year every Jan. 1.

I'm sure some of you already knew of this strange way of calculating age, but for the rest of us I'll go ahead and say it.


Like, that's so strange. I get being zero on your birthday and then turning one on January first. That makes sense. But why is it the more popular method to start life at one year old?

That makes no sense at all.

Anyhow, it's moot, because they're finally changing the method:

The South Korean parliament voted Thursday to officially dismantle the country's current "Korean Age" system, which differs from the method used internationally, according to Reuters and BBC News.

Beginning in June 2023, Koreans will determine their age based on their birthdate as the country moves away from two other methods of calculating age…

As a result, Koreans will be considered either one or two years younger than their current Korean Age when the official change takes effect next year.

So that's cool for Koreans to be a whole two years younger.

Good for them.

I mean, I'd love to be 29 again, which is why I keep telling people I'm 29. But I guess that's a separate issue entirely so... moving on.

It looks like South Korea isn't the first East Asian country to make the switch. Japan and China have both successfully switched to the international method, and it seems like everything is working out for them.

Before I go, I'd just like to say congrats to South Koreans on their newfound youth.

And I hope your next birthday will be as fun as it was the first time around.

Ready to join the conversation? Subscribe today.

Access comments and our fully-featured social platform.

Sign up Now
App screenshot

You must signup or login to view or post comments on this article.