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 words on August 13th, 2012 | Posted in Culture |


38 comments on “Korean age calculator”

  1. berlie calatao says:


  2. The Waegukin says:

    You’re welcome ^^

  3. sarah says:

    Thanks. I can see that i will be lying about my age when I visit Seoul in February!

  4. Isamar Llamas says:

    wow so i’m 21, in Korea i would be 23 haha woooow.

  5. i3ph says:

    wow,, you’re so smart!!
    thanks anyway :)

  6. milo says:

    wow this is really cool but im very confused
    im korea i would be nineteen?? very cool and very confusing ahaha

  7. Pamela Leigh says:

    Wow! I’m only 15 but in korean age, I’m 17. I feel older.hehe. by the way, thanks. I’m satisfied.:)

  8. yoo says:

    i don’t like Korean age!!!!!! -_-

  9. Charlene says:

    Yes. im 18.
    Finally legal in Canada T_T
    oh how i wish the legal age in Korea was 18.

  10. charissa says:

    this confuses me.i was born on new year’s day exactly so does that mean i add 2years to my age or just 1?

  11. The Waegukin says:

    If you were born on New Year’s Day, you should always add one year to get your Korean age. New Year’s eve, always add 2, except for the actual New Year’s eve.

  12. Briana says:

    I’m a bit confused. I was born in early February in 1995.
    So I would be 20 in the Korean age system? Or?

  13. Trina Goldenvalley says:

    I still don’t understand “Lunar” -.-‘

    I just turned 16 on the 26. of April.. The “Solar – Calender” says that I am 17 but the “Lunar – Calender” says that I am 18….. I Don’t understand.. :/

  14. Anonymous says:

    wow i feel older

  15. Mona says:

    Wow So I was born in March 1997 and I am 16 . And in Korean I am 17 or 18? :D

  16. ... OMFG 2 YEARS OLDER says:

    omfg seriusly? i thought was getting older since im 26 after calculated it im 28….2 years OMFG STRESS~

  17. Clarisse H. says:

    I don’t understand about the Lunar and Solar thingy.. Please do explain in a more understandable way..? :/
    ‘Cause I’m really really CONFUSED and I’m really interested in this.. :))
    Pleasee.. SOMEONE answer :*

    Thanks Guyss! ;)

  18. Esther Park says:

    Wow here i am 29 but in Korea i am 31. Oh i am old lol.

  19. John.W says:

    interesting info.. although im older ;)

  20. rykiel says:

    I’m born 1998, now i’m 15. Means that i’m 16 in korea? :-)

  21. Cinthia Moreno says:

    I dont get it I was born on april7,2001 so im 12 . does that mean im 14 In korea ???

  22. Lily says:

    Does anyone know kris age and he’s from Exo k pop.thx

  23. Vanessa Tan says:

    I am born at 1st Feb 2001 so does that mean my age will be 14 years old in Korea?

  24. Caitlin says:

    My Birthday is January 30, 1995. I’m 19 in international, would i be 20 or 21 korean age? I’m still extremely confused. Please help explain!

  25. Kiran says:

    I was born on January 9 1998.I’m 16 internationally.What would be my korean age?

  26. Anonymous says:

    im 17 :)

  27. mijavicgo says:

    OKay…I’m done╮(╯_╰)╭ 26? In korean I’ll get older 2 years..

  28. Anonymous says:

    im 20.. W0w..

  29. Gina says:

    This is totally messed up… Okay I give you credit for the fact that this is an interesting topic but those of us who are already old enough and don’t welcome age calculators magically adding TWO YEARS to our age are grumbling unhappily right now. :/ (kidding… :P grumble grumble… not really)

    I’ve always been curious, though, because I was born in Korea in the mid-70’s and have been promised by my mom that the birthday that I have always understood to be mine was based on the Gregorian calendar. But knowing how focused they are in Korea on the lunar calendar (even now), I’m never quite sure. Is there any way to find out? Did they start using Gregorian dates for official birth records at some specific point in Korea?

  30. Rita says:

    so, i’ll just say i’m in my mid-50s

  31. Isel says:

    I was Born on November 14 1994 i am only 20 I am only 21 years old in Korea. The Korean age system is using in North and South Korea for calculating the age in the western age plus they will add one year or sometimes two years in during Chinese Lunar New Year

  32. Isel says:

    I was Born on November 14 1994 i am only 20 I am only 21 years old in Korea. The Korean age system is using in North and South Korea for calculating the age in the western age plus they will add one year or sometimes two years in during Chinese Lunar New Year

  33. stephanie says:

    i was born on jan 26 im 14 how old am i in korea im turning 15 im a month

  34. Martyn says:

    I’ve lived in Korea for almost eight years and have a nightmare trying to explain this to people.
    Basically if you are born on 31st December, you are one day old, but also one year old. The next day, despite being only two days old, you become two years old (Korean age).
    When I turned thirty, I introduce myself to Koreans, I just tell them the year I was born and trust that they have sufficient math skills to figure it out for themselves wether to call me ‘hyung’ or not.


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