Delighting Decision from South Korea: Everyone Will Get Younger

South Korea has decided to bring the age system in line with international standards from 2023. So everyone in the country will be one to two years younger after the change.

South Korea has decided to change the existing traditional age calculation system in the country. As of June 2023, the country will switch to the age calculation method used by almost every country, which is an international standard.

South Korea’s parliament on Thursday passed a law that abolishes Korea’s two traditional methods of counting ages. It was announced that from June 2023, the so-called “Korean Age” system will no longer be allowed in official documents. Deciding to use the standardized, internationally accepted method instead, South Korea cites the reason for this change as “to clear up confusion”.

South Korea Will Be One to Two Years Younger

Currently, the most widely used calculation method in Korea appears to be the “Korean age system”, in which a person is one year old at birth and then earns a year on the first day of each new year. Another calculation method is expressed as “counting age”. Accordingly, the person’s age is considered zero at birth and a new year is added on every January 1st. This method exists primarily to calculate the legal age of alcohol and smoking. The country also uses a calculation method in accordance with the international standard.

Therefore, there is a significant confusion in Korea, which has three different age counting systems. For example, on December 9, 2022, a person born on December 31, 2002 is 19 years old in the international system, 20 in the counting system, and 21 in the Korean system.

Yoo Sang-bum of the ruling People’s Power Party told parliament that “the revision aims to reduce unnecessary socio-economic costs because confusion remains due to legal and social disagreements, as well as different ways of calculating age.” These calculation differences also negatively affect the provision of medical and administrative services.

Ece Nagihan

Hi, I'm Ece. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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