Culture

South Korea Is Getting Rid of Its "Korean Age" System

This means some people could be 2 years “younger” soon.

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8,282 Hypes

South Korea Is Getting Rid of Its "Korean Age" System

This means some people could be 2 years “younger” soon.

Those who have Korean friends may have heard of the country’s “Korean age” system, where a person turns 1 the day they are born. South Korea’s president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol announced that his transition team will be pushing to get rid of the system, using the internationally recognized age system instead.

For those unaware, there are three different ways to count age in Korea, the most common one being the “Korean age” system. A person is considered to be 1 year old when they are born, counting the time they are in their mother’s womb (rounded up to one year) as part of their age. On top of that, everyone gets one year older on New Year’s Day, instead of on their birthday. The second system is the globally recognized one where one’s age is determined on their birthday. In the third system, which is least used, a person is considered 0 years old at birth and gains one year on New Year’s Day. If you were born in December of 2020, you would currently be 3 in “Korean age,” 1 in the globally-recognized age and 2 in the third age system.

“Due to the different calculations of legal and social age, we have experienced unnecessary social and economic costs from persistent confusion and disputes over calculating age when receiving social, welfare and other administrative services or signing or interpreting various contracts,” Rep. Lee Yong-ho said at a press conference, according to Yonhap News. The change was one of the promises made in Yoon’s campaign during the presidential elections.

You can read more about the “Korean age” system and how it works here.

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Hypebeast Korea
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