Average height of Koreans


How tall is the Korean average? What is the average height of North Koreans? These questions are welcome to be answered by us.

“High” is what everyone probably wants. But having to be HIGH is another problem. Did you know that, in Korea, height is also a factor leading to discrimination? Today’s post will give you information about the average height of Koreans as well as the “MUST TIGHT” culture of this society! 

Current height status of Koreans

In the past, Koreans were still known for their short stature, among the lowest in Asia. However, things are different now. According to British research, the average height of Korean women has increased by more than 20 centimeters over the past century. This is the highest increase in the world. 

This study was conducted with men and women aged 18 years, in 200 countries between 1914 and 2014. The results showed that Korean women increased on average from 142.2 cm to 162.3 cm. What is surprising is that 100 years ago, Korean women were the fifth shortest out of 200 countries. In 2014, they rose up and ranked at number 55. Korean men also saw an amazing increase in height, from 159.8 cm to 174.9 cm. 

According to Statista, the average height of Koreans (20-29 years old) in 2018 was 173.8 cm for men and 161.4 cm for women in 2018. 


Why do Koreans grow in height so fast 

Due to economic development 

It can be said that height growth is closely related to the amazing economic development in Korea in the second half of the 20th century. The correlation coefficient between average height and income per capita in the world. from 1810 to 1989 is +0.64 (on a scale of -1 to +1). This means that the richer you are, the taller you are. Economic development makes Koreans have access to more nutritious food sources, thereby improving their fitness. 

The government is interested in improving people’s fitness 

This is one of the commendable efforts of the Korean government in developing the height and improving the body for Koreans. In the 1970s, the Korean government launched the new rural development program (새마을 ), focusing on raising health care awareness and forming a suitable diet, in order to improve the quality of life. quality of life in rural Korea, reducing the gap between rural and urban areas. 

The government also introduced a nationwide health insurance program that focuses on leg length, rather than back length. In addition, the government also requires students to drink milk every day at schools across the country as well as supplemented with protein-rich products to develop bodybuilding. 

Consciousness of form is formed  

Nowadays, young people, especially parents, have a clear sense of body development. They let their children participate in many extracurricular classes to develop their height as well as visit the hospital regularly. Koreans are ready for medical intervention when their children are young so that they can grow up to have the desired height when they grow up. 

Obsessed with height and weight in current Korean life 

It can be said that Korean society is a society that pays attention to appearance so height is an advantage that gives you social recognition. Korean parents have a famous saying that “it is better to do whatever it takes to make your child 10 cm taller than to leave you 1 billion won”. They also think that when they were young, they didn’t study well, they can practice later to catch up with friends, but if their height doesn’t improve at a young age, they won’t have the opportunity to do it later. 

Attention to Koreans’ height has been particularly noticeable since 2009, when a female university student said on the program “Global Talk Show” that any man shorter than 180 cm is a “bad guy”. loser”. Her comment was met with fierce opposition from men. Later, that very sentence became an “uncourteous” joke that made people under 180 cm become self-deprecating.

Tall or not tall is no longer an individual matter, but it has become a criterion to form discrimination in Korean society. Because of this problem, in Korea, if parents cannot help their children grow taller, they will feel sorry for their children and fear that their children will be ridiculed, discriminated against and deprived of good opportunities. in social. “As both my husband and I are short, I am very worried about my son inheriting it and I plan to do everything I can to help him grow taller, so that he does not have to be discriminated against because of his height. me”. Kim Eun-joo, the mother of a 6-year-old baby said. 


It is these needs that have created a lucrative market for growth hormone and nutritional supplements for children. According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the market for children’s supplements skyrocketed from 6.7 billion won ($5.8 million) in 2017 to 20.7 billion won in 2018. 

For children showing signs of growth problems (if less than 10 cm for the average height for age and growing less than 5 cm a year), parents in Korea often choose treatment. children with hormone injections. The size of the growth hormone market in South Korea is about 100 billion won, according to Dong-A ST, which sells human growth hormone Growtropin, which brought in 19.5 billion won in sales in 2018. 

These human growth hormone injections must be given weekly for about a year. This can be said to be an expensive method that cannot be 100% certain of the results. Lim Jae-seon is an example of this. She said she had to have weekly injections into her abdomen when she was 13 years old. However, at the age of 25, she is still only 153 cm tall, while her parents are above average.

In addition to functional foods, Koreans also send their children to training centers to help them increase their height. Yonsuh’s mother, Kwon Young-Joo, takes her to a height growth center two hours three times a week for a trainer to help her with height-increasing exercises. Ms. Kwon said: “Living in Korean society, looks are everything. So as a parent, I’m doing everything I can right now so she doesn’t have to grow up in bitterness…if her height is too short.”

Because time is limited to develop, Dr. Shin Dong-Gil at Hamsoa Clinic says parents feel an obligation to take their children to the doctor. “Korean parents are very competitive. They are always worried that if they are not tall enough, their children won’t find a good husband or wife, and even face discrimination when leaving. study and work”. “These parents see height as a direct link to their children’s future potential.”

Most Korean men who are not satisfied with their height will choose the method of wearing padded shoes, and some will use the method of leg lengthening surgery. “8 or 9 out of 10 men have leg lengthening surgery not because of a deformity or disability but because they want to get taller,” says a consultant at the clinic. “The problem is that they’re not too short. They are also about 170 cm tall.”

It is because of those judgments based on appearance that in addition to academic pressure, Koreans also have to bear additional pressure from having an ideal height, above average. A lot of Korean adults with shorter than average height feel inferior in daily life, dating, job search, marriage… It can be said that in Korean society, height is not everything but it is 1. of the factors for a more comfortable life. 

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