Revealed: The Average Height Of Korean People

by   |   Nov 12, 2023
5/5 - (1 vote)

Today, we embark on a fascinating journey to explore the ever-evolving landscape of Korean demographics, with a particular focus on a rather astonishing transformation that has taken place over the last four decades. It’s a story of how a nation’s stature has shifted, quite literally, from one generation to the next. Koreans now find themselves standing tall, not only in terms of their accomplishments on the global stage but also in their physical height. In fact, they have emerged as one of the tallest nations in Asia, a remarkable feat that begs the question: What is the secret behind this remarkable change? Join us as we delve into the depths of this intriguing phenomenon, peeling back the layers to uncover the truth hidden within the growth spurt that has defined a nation’s identity.

Historical Shift in Korean Height

Over the course of the past century, a striking transformation has taken place in the average height of the Korean population. Casting our gaze back to the early 20th century, we find that Korean men stood at an average height of approximately 165cm, while their female counterparts measured in at around 155cm. However, the intervening decades have witnessed a seismic shift in these physical dimensions, and today, the landscape of Korean height presents an entirely new vista. Currently, the average height for Korean men has surged to approximately 176cm, while women now boast an average height of around 163cm. This remarkable alteration in stature signifies not merely a change but a profound historical shift in the very essence of the Korean populace.

What is the average height of Korean men and women?

In our quest to understand the average heights of Korean men and women, we uncover fascinating statistics. According to recent measurements, the mean height for Korean men now registers at 5 feet 9 inches (175.5 cm), whereas Korean women have an average height of 5 feet 4.25 inches (163.2 cm) [1]. What truly captures our attention is the steady growth in the number of tall individuals within the Korean population. Over the years, the average height has steadily climbed, with an astonishing increase of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) for men and 2.1 inches (5.3 cm) for women when compared to the averages recorded in 1979. This captivating metamorphosis not only reflects changing demographics but also hints at the dynamic evolution of Korean society itself.


Exploring the Phenomenon of Increasing Average Height in Korea

The remarkable surge in the average height of Koreans is a multifaceted phenomenon, and at its core, lies the profound impact of nutrition. Korea’s historical reliance on agriculture shaped its dietary patterns, with rice as a staple and limited access to protein-rich foods. However, the nation’s transition into modernity during the late 19th century, coupled with rapid economic growth in the 1970s and 80s, ushered in significant shifts in dietary habits. As economic prosperity took hold, there was a diversification of diets, marked by increased consumption of meat and other nutrient-rich foods, thereby elevating overall nutrient intake.

Beyond the dietary aspect, several other factors have contributed to the upward trajectory of Koreans’ height. The nation’s exceptional social mobility has led to an improved standard of living, which has been correlated with taller statures among both children and adults. Furthermore, Korea boasts a world-renowned healthcare system, ensuring citizens have access to top-notch medical care, thereby enhancing overall health and well-being.

So, are Koreans truly towering over others?

In comparison to the average heights observed in the United States and select European countries, Koreans might not stand out as exceptionally tall. While Korean entertainment, particularly Kpop, showcases idols who appear taller than the general population, it’s important to recognize that these idols are often chosen based on various criteria, including their height, and undergo years of training before their debut. Additionally, camera angles and editing techniques can create the illusion of increased height, and some idols may even opt for plastic surgery, a practice not uncommon in Korea.

Nevertheless, it remains undeniable that the average height of Koreans has been steadily on the rise for well over a century. In particular, Korean women have experienced the most significant increase in average height globally, with an astonishing additional 7.9 inches (20.1 cm) to their stature. Presently, Korean men rank third in the world in terms of mean height, trailing behind only Greenland and Iran.

When it comes to other Asian countries, their specific height statistics can vary significantly. Each nation’s unique blend of factors, encompassing nutrition, genetics, healthcare, and lifestyle, contributes to the distinct height trends observed.

In summation, while Koreans may not stand as the tallest when compared to certain other regions, their journey towards greater heights is an intriguing phenomenon rooted in a complex interplay of factors. The remarkable surge in average height, especially among Korean women, is a testament to the nation’s evolving socio-economic landscape and its profound impact on the physical stature of its people. Height, it seems, remains a dynamic and multifaceted aspect of human biology, shaped by a myriad of influences that differ from one corner of the globe to another.


If Korea is ranked as the country with the highest average height in Asia, China is the second. The mean height of Chinese people in 2019 is 5 feet 4 inches (163.5 cm) for women and 5 feet 9 inches (175.7 centimeters). For further information, click here.


The average height of Japanese people in 2019 is 5 feet 2.6 inches (158.8 cm) for women and 5 feet 7.4 inches (171.2 cm) for men. In the last century, Japanese people have particularly gotten taller and ranked third in Asia. Read here if you want to know more.

North Korea

South Koreans are taller than North Koreans. The mean height of North Korean people in 2019 is 5 feet 3.4 inches (161.2 cm) for women and 5 feet 8.7 inches (174.7 cm) for men [1].


Who is the tallest person in Korea?

Hong-man Choi is a kickboxer and mixed martial arts. His height is 7 feet 2 inches (218 cm) and known as the tallest person in South Korea. Meanwhile, the tallest person in North Korea is Ri Myung-hun. He is a former basketball player and has a “giant” height – 7 feet 8 ½ inches (235 cm).

Will height continue to grow?

As mentioned above, the average height of Korean people has grown remarkably over a century. But would it continue in the future?

Statistics point out that there has not been a big growth recently. And the major cause is related to the amount of sleep people get. 7 hours and 41 minutes are the average hours of sleep for Korean people. And when researching adults only, the number was reduced to 6.8 hours.

We all know that lack of sleep might affect growth because of growth hormone deficiencies. Moreover, sleep deprivation is related to obesity and diabetes [2, 3].

What to consider?

Not only does the mean height of Koreans have a slight, or even zero increase, but also the other countries with the highest average height. There are, of course, many different reasons. But as an individual, you should pay attention to some basic steps to optimize the growth potential.

During the growing years, the first and foremost thing is to get all of the essential nutrients the body needs. A well-balanced diet should include fresh vegetables and fruits, proteins, dairy, and whole grains. Also, you need to avoid or limit foods with high amounts of trans fats, saturated fats, salt, and sugar.

No matter who you are, a child or an adult, staying active is necessary to strengthen muscles and bones, enhance HGH production, maintain overall health, and prevent the risk of osteoporosis. Having an optimal sleep duration and timing is also vital because it contributes to healthy physical growth, muscle repair, immune system, and metabolism.

For further information related to other height-increasing tips, you can discover more here.


In short

Numerous factors have played a pivotal role in shaping the current average height of the Korean population. The confluence of improved nutrition and elevated living standards stands out as a prominent driving force behind this remarkable increase in stature. Moreover, the intermingling of Korean genetics with those of Western foreigners has also contributed to the prevalence of “tall” genes within the Korean gene pool.

As we draw this article to a close, it is essential to reflect on whether it has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the average height of Korean individuals. We sincerely hope that it has not only answered your questions but has also enriched your knowledge with new insights. We encourage you to stay connected with us for continuous updates on height-related developments. Your quest for knowledge is our shared journey, and we look forward to bringing you more enlightening information in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the current average height of Korean people?

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the average height of Korean people was approximately 170.7 centimeters (5 feet 7 inches) for men and 157.4 centimeters (5 feet 2 inches) for women. However, please note that these figures might have changed since then, so it’s best to refer to more recent and reliable sources for the most up-to-date data.

How does the average height of Koreans compare to other countries?

South Korea has experienced significant improvements in average height over the years, and it has gradually caught up with other developed nations. However, average height can vary among countries due to differences in genetics, nutrition, healthcare, and lifestyle. While South Korea’s average height might be similar to that of many other developed countries, specific rankings can change depending on the data and the time of analysis.

Are genetics the primary factor influencing the height of Koreans?

Genetics plays a significant role in determining a person’s height, and Koreans, like other ethnic groups, have unique genetic traits that influence their physical attributes. However, height is a complex trait influenced by multiple factors, including nutrition, healthcare, lifestyle, and environmental conditions. While genetics sets the potential height range, other factors can impact whether individuals reach their full height potential.

Has South Korea always had a relatively shorter stature compared to other countries?

Historically, South Korea faced periods of war, poverty, and malnutrition, which had an impact on the health and stature of its population. After the Korean War, the nation experienced challenges in rebuilding and improving living conditions. However, with economic growth, advancements in healthcare, and improved nutrition, the average height of Korean people has been steadily increasing over the years.

What efforts have contributed to the improvement in the average height of Korean people?

Several factors have contributed to the improvement in the average height of Korean people. These include economic development, increased access to nutritious food, improved healthcare services, and a growing awareness of the importance of a balanced lifestyle. Government policies focusing on public health, education, and nutrition have also played a role in promoting better growth and development among the population.

Are there any specific regional differences in the average height within South Korea?

While the average height of Korean people has been steadily increasing overall, there might be some regional variations. Factors like economic disparities, access to healthcare, and dietary habits can influence height within different regions of the country. However, detailed data on specific regional differences might require further research.

Can changes in average height provide insights into the overall well-being of a population?

Yes, changes in average height can provide valuable insights into the overall health and well-being of a population. Improved height trends often indicate better nutrition, access to healthcare, and overall socio-economic development. However, it’s important to consider that average height is just one indicator, and a comprehensive analysis of various health and socio-economic factors is necessary to understand the overall well-being of a population

This article is shared by expert Joybauer – the admin of the website, who has many years of experience working in the field of height growth.

  • Address: 33 Whitehall Street, New York
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Joy Bauer is a renowned physician and nutrition expert who has dedicated her career to helping people live healthier, happier lives. With over two decades of experience in the field of health and wellness, Dr. Bauer has become one of the most trusted voices in the industry.
About This Researcher
One of Dr. Bauer’s areas of expertise is in the field of height growth. She has worked with countless patients over the years who were looking to increase their height naturally, and has developed a range of effective strategies and techniques to help them achieve their goals.

Dr. Bauer believes that a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for optimal growth and development. She works closely with her patients to develop personalized nutrition plans that are tailored to their unique needs and goals. These plans include a variety of nutrient-dense foods and supplements that are designed to support healthy bone growth and development.

In addition to her work in height growth, Dr. Bauer is also a leading expert in the areas of weight loss, disease prevention, and overall wellness. She is a regular contributor to a number of popular media outlets, including The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and Good Morning America.

If you’re looking for a physician who is passionate about helping you live your best life, look no further than Dr. Joy Bauer. With her expertise, compassion, and commitment to excellence, she is the ideal partner for anyone who is looking to achieve their health and wellness goals.

The reason behind the creation of the website HowToGrowTaller is to provide effective guidance and support to individuals who are looking to increase their height naturally. Dr. Joy Bauer recognized that many people feel self-conscious or insecure about their height, and that there is a great deal of misinformation out there about how to grow taller.

With HowToGrowTaller, Dr. Bauer wanted to create a comprehensive resource that would provide individuals with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to achieve their height goals. The website includes a wide range of resources, including nutrition plans, exercise routines, and other proven strategies that are designed to support healthy growth and development.

One of the key benefits of HowToGrowTaller is that it is a one-stop-shop for all things related to height growth. Instead of spending countless hours researching different strategies and techniques, individuals can turn to the website to access everything they need in one convenient location.

Overall, the goal of HowToGrowTaller is to help individuals feel more confident and empowered in their bodies. By providing them with the resources and support they need to grow taller naturally, Dr. Bauer hopes to help people achieve their height goals and improve their overall quality of life.

Researcher Locations:

33 Whitehall Street, New York

Education & Training
Pediatric Psychology – Nemours Childrens Clinic – Jacksonville, 2003

Child Psychology – University of Florida, 2002

Board Certifications
American Board of Professional Psychology

Areas of Research



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