Waegukin - living and teaching in Korea

Korean age calculator

old korean manAn old Korean man I saw in Jinju.
blue dot
Aug 13 2012

In Korea, everyone is 1 from the time they are born. And everyone gets a year older on New Year’s day. So your Korean age is always either one or two years older than your Western age. And yes, a baby born on New Year’s Eve can be two years old the next day, although in practice people wait awhile before they start talking about somebody’s Korean age.

Working out your Korean age can be tricky. Even more so because Koreans frequently go by the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. And that is when your head starts to hurt. It hurts even more when you try to figure out how to algebraically parse things to make a javascript Korean Age Calculator, but that is what I’ve done. So here it is – put in the relevant information and it will convert your age to Korean years, according to both the Solar and Lunar (Seollal) calendars. Have fun.

Korean age calculator

Enter your current age:
Have already had your birthday this year?

Have you had a birthday since the last Lunar New Year (early February-ish)?

Your age in Korea (Solar calendar): 

Your age in Korea (Lunar calendar):


How to calculate your Korean age (and how this works)

Having spent a good hour and a half thinking about how to calculate your Korean age to make this thing, I can now tell you the easy way to work out your Korean age, which is also how the calculator works.

As you are 1 year old when you are born, and as a new year will inevitably come around before your first birthday, it is impossible to ever catch up to your Korean age. However once a year, on your birthday, you get temporarily closer by one year. So, to put it simply – in a given year, before your birthday, your Korean age is your Western age plus two; after your birthday, it is your Western age plus one.

To calculate your age by the lunar calendar is only slightly more complex; we just need to change “the start of the year” to “the start of the lunar year”. So, go back to the last Lunar New Year and repeat the process. Add two before your birthday, and one afterwards.


As to whether to use the lunar or solar new year, from everything I’ve read and everyone I’ve asked, it’s a matter of personal preference. For most people, it only makes a difference for one month of the year or so – the period between January 1 and the start of the lunar new year. However if you have a January or early February birthday, it makes a difference for the rest of the year. Want to appear mature to the handsome oppa? Go for the higher number. Mourning your lost youth and despairing over the swiftness of time’s passing? You know what to do. Although truthfully in that situation your best bet is to play dumb about the whole Korean age thing. It invariably makes you feel old.

Waegukin wrote these 505 words on August 13th, 2012 | Posted in Culture |


146 comments on “Korean age calculator”

  1. Kim Soo Yun says:

    So im Korean but raised in the states. I went by my American age 15. Now i know my age in korea is 17.

  2. Poniko says:

    but if I went to korea would they take the age on my passport or would they calculate my korean age?? what if you’re 20 in western age but 21 in korean age???? are you allowed to drink then?? It’s so confusing

  3. Trixie says:

    I’m 17 in EU age… And I’m 20 in Korean age?? I feel so old..

  4. Trixie says:

    I mean 19.. Sorr

  5. Valeru says:

    Ok so I am 19, I was born in January I would either be 20 according to solar and 21 according to lunar new year how is this supposed to work omg xD

  6. SUNSHINE says:


  7. Lizzy says:

    I’m still kind of confused. So when you haven’t had your birthday yet you’re two years older but when you have you’re only one?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I was born on 15 December 1996 what will be my age

  9. Crumbs says:

    Well that would explain my premature grey hairs…… I can’t believe I’m 30 in Korean years….. Now I just feel old……..

  10. Anonymous says:

    I still don’t understant, I was born in 2006 September 25 and current date is 2017 September 9. I will be 11 but how old am I in Korea age? I think 13, is it true?

  11. Mii says:

    19 year old in Western age and 20 Korean age wow

  12. riz says:

    when you are born you are already 9 month old is this the logic with some cultures ?

  13. Ema says:

    Yesss, I can start high school straight away when I go to Korea, I don’t have to go to middle school! Woooh!

  14. Lynn says:

    Okay, I’m highly confused — was wondering if anyone could help me out.

    My friend and I both entered our info this calculator. It tells me my Korean age is 30 and his is 31. Which is highly peculiar seeing as how I was born in March 1988, and He was born Nov 1988. I’m a full 8 months older than he is. I’m pretty sure this is the case no matter where we are on earth, lol.

    So maybe there’s a kink in your algorithm for this calculator?

  15. me says:

    so i was born on 14th february so what exactly does “early february” mean?

  16. fafa says:

    I’m sorry. I’m confused. My birthday is 12-12-1994. What would be my age in korean?

  17. peter says:

    what my wacky korean name? many thank sorry for bad english

  18. Vanissa Gonzales says:

    Oh my god so in Korean age I’m already 23 yr old, daebak
    by the way how can I translate my name in Korean? is that possible? tell me jebal

  19. Elvie says:

    I was born august 15 96 what would be my aga

  20. marie says:

    so i was born on january 1st 2001, im 16 soon 17 what would my age be

  21. ANJ says:


  22. Fadoun says:

    Who’s here from BTS

  23. Grace says:

    Am glad I got to understand a little about the Korean age. Thank you.

  24. Athena says:

    I’m very confused, but amused @ the same time !!!!! I’m Very amused that everyone is 1 right when their born,but
    I don’t quite get, since I was born on June 4th, 2004 & i’m 13 right now, so will I be 14 or 15 ??? Like I said it’s amusing and confused @ the same time ????

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just stick with ur western age….let the koreans do the math once u visit their country.

  26. Jasmanda tuaputa says:

    Wow I’m 16 western age and so that means in Korea age I’m 18..lol

  27. Anonymous says:


  28. Joy says:

    why do I suddenly feel like I’m 25 when I don’t remember celebrating my 24th birthday

  29. Mhae says:

    Wahh im only turning 22 this may 22…my birth year is 1996 does it mean i add 2 in my age or one?..

  30. Jeon Mina says:

    I’m 19 yrs old(american wise)and im happy because I went to a fan meet and greet in 2016 and jungkook hi-fived me!!!!
    전정국, 형

  31. Noboni says:

    Woah! I’m 19 I’m felling old

  32. Park Kyo Chimin says:

    i;m born in March 04,2003 and my western age is 15 yrs.old and my korean age will 16 yrs. old right

  33. Machi says:

    Wow, Im 18, but my korean age is 20. Guess im coming of age and legal in korea, yes to drinks lmao.

  34. Anonymous says:

    My age got closer to v’s age ❤️

  35. Kylee Guerra says:

    I’d already be auditioning for The Voice if all age systems worked this way lol. (I want to audition when I’m old enough)

  36. abhilasha says:

    my age is 14 and this tells me that my age is 16….wow…cool eh! i am feeling older now.


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