What is the average height of Koreans?

Amidst the bustling streets of South Korea, a nation where the tapestry of modernity seamlessly interweaves with the threads of tradition, there exists a preoccupation that transcends the ordinary realms of academic achievement, career prospects, or personal relationships. It is an obsession that lingers in the shadows, often unnoticed by the outside world, yet exerts a profound and enduring influence on the lives of Korean youth. Surprisingly, this fixation does not revolve around academic grades or job titles; instead, it centers on a physical attribute – height.

Many may be unaware that, in addition to the pressures of academic examinations and career aspirations, height holds significant sway in the minds of Korean youth. The average height of Koreans becomes a factor that compounds the stress experienced by the younger generation. To comprehend the origins of this fixation with height in Korean culture, one must delve deep into the cultural and societal underpinnings that have contributed to this phenomenon.

As we embark on this enlightening journey of exploration, we shall uncover the deeply ingrained beliefs, historical contexts, and modern influences that have collectively shaped South Korea’s distinctive perspective on height. From its impact on self-esteem and dating preferences to the cultural significance of height as a symbol of social status, we shall navigate the intricate web of factors that render height an essential yet often unspoken element of identity in South Korea.

Join us in unraveling the layers of this intriguing facet of Korean culture, as we illuminate the reasons why height matters so profoundly to the youth of this vibrant and dynamic nation. In the following pages, we shall traverse the complexities of height’s role in South Korean society, offering profound insights into a concern that transcends mere physical stature and delves deep into the heart of Korean identity.

Average Heights Across the Globe

Human height, defined as the vertical measurement from the soles of one’s feet to the zenith of their head in an upright position, serves as a captivating lens through which to examine the diverse demographics of the world. While this quantification is typically expressed in centimeters or meters, some Western nations adhere to the imperial system, measuring height in feet and inches.

On the global stage, there exists a general trend of men being taller than women, and a notable disparity emerges between the average heights of individuals from Asian and European backgrounds.

According to a comprehensive survey conducted by Disabled-world on September 30, 2018, men worldwide boast an average height of approximately 177 cm (69.7 inches), while women typically stand at around 163.3 cm (64.3 inches).

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that these averages vary significantly from one nation to another. To unravel the intricacies of these variations, let us embark on a journey through the heights of diverse countries.


The Netherlands proudly holds the distinction of being the world’s tallest nation, with an average stature that soars to an impressive 175.62 cm. When it comes to Dutch men, they stand out even more, towering at an average height of 182.53 cm, which is a significant deviation from the global norm. Dutch women, equally remarkable, embrace their towering reputation with an average height of 168.72 cm, further solidifying the Netherlands’ status as a nation of giants.


Contrary to common assumptions, the United States does not lay claim to the title of the world’s tallest nation. American men have an average height of 176.4 cm, while American women measure an average of 162.9 cm. These figures, while respectable, do not position the United States among the global height leaders.


In France, the average height for men hovers around 175 cm, while for women, it typically stands at approximately 162 cm. Interestingly, these figures closely resemble the average heights found in the United States, highlighting a shared height profile between these Western nations.


Denmark is renowned for its population’s impressive height. Danish men boast an average height of 181.38 cm, and Danish women follow suit with an average height of 176.21 cm. These lofty figures firmly establish Denmark as one of the world’s taller nations.


China stands out as an outlier among Asian nations, with average heights for both men and women closely aligned with the global mean. Chinese men typically measure around 172.1 cm, while Chinese women have an average height of 160.1 cm. These figures reflect China’s unique position within the Asian continent in terms of height.

North Korea:

In North Korea, average heights deviate significantly from the global norm. The average height for men in North Korea stands at 165.6 cm, while for women, it is notably shorter at 154.6 cm, placing the country among those with shorter average statures.


According to a 2018 study, the average height for Vietnamese men is 163.7 cm, and for women, it measures 153 cm. These statistics position Vietnam among the countries with shorter average statures in the world, reflecting the nation’s distinct height profile.


India is renowned for its distinctive average heights, with Indian men measuring an average height of 164.7 cm and Indian women typically standing at 151.9 cm. These figures showcase a unique height profile among nations and illustrate the diversity of human stature found within India.

The world’s heights, much like its cultures, landscapes, and traditions, contribute to a rich and diverse tapestry that showcases the beauty of global differences in various aspects of human life.

Exploring the Height Phenomenon in Korea

The average height of Koreans offers a fascinating glimpse into a complex cultural landscape. When we delve into the statistics, we uncover intriguing insights. Research on global height trends unveils that Korean men boast an average height of 170.1 cm, while Korean women measure in at an average of 157.4 cm. These numbers position Korea among the Asian nations with noteworthy heights.

However, the quest to understand why Koreans tend to be relatively tall unveils a surprising cultural dimension. In Korea, there exists a fervent parental expectation that their offspring will surpass their peers in height. This belief arises from the perception that height confers various advantages in life. Consequently, Korean parents frequently employ height-boosting measures such as specialized medications, nutritional supplements, and even hormone injections for their children from an early age.

Yet, this Korean preoccupation with average height comes with its own set of drawbacks, as it can lead to adverse consequences. It is vital to cultivate a well-rounded perspective on the significance of an individual’s height in one’s life and to promote awareness of healthy methods for encouraging natural height growth.

Shifting our focus to the realm of Korean entertainment, we find that the heights of Korean celebrities take center stage, largely due to the prevailing emphasis on body mass index. Any deviations from perceived standards are subjected to intense scrutiny by the public eye.

Exploring the heights of Korean stars, we encounter a range of measurements:

For Male Celebrities: Male Korean celebrities typically fall within an average height range of 170 cm to 180 cm, roughly translating to 5’7″ to 5’11”. However, exceptions exist, with some male celebrities exceeding this range.

For Female Celebrities: Female Korean celebrities tend to have an average height ranging from approximately 160 cm to 170 cm, or roughly 5’3″ to 5’7″. Similar to their male counterparts, taller female celebrities exist within this realm.

It is important to remember that these measurements represent averages, and individual heights can vary significantly. Within the sphere of Korean celebrities, one can find stars who both exceed and fall below these average ranges. In our pursuit of height standards, let us also prioritize the importance of embracing diversity and celebrating individuality.

The Elevated Status of Korean Celebrities in Terms of Height and Beauty

Kim Da Mi:

Kim Da Mi has captivated the public eye with her unique and unconventional beauty, setting her apart from conventional standards. Beyond her distinctive appearance, she surprises her fans with an impressive height, towering at 170cm (approximately 5’7″). However, when seen alongside actor Park Seo Joon, celebrated for his towering stature, she may appear somewhat shorter, measuring around 160cm (approximately 5’3″). Nonetheless, their on-screen chemistry and suitability as the lead couple in the movie “Itaewon Class” have deeply resonated with many fans.


As a member of the iconic girl group SNSD, Sooyoung has left audiences in awe with her statuesque height of 170cm (approximately 5’7″) and incredibly long, captivating legs. Her commanding height consistently places her at the forefront on stage, effortlessly overshadowing her fellow group members.

Jun Ji Hyun:

With a height of 173cm (approximately 5’8″), Jun Ji Hyun stands out amongst Korean actresses. She embarked on her entertainment career as a professional model at the tender age of 16. Even after more than two decades, Jun Ji Hyun remains one of the most sought-after and highly compensated actresses in the Korean entertainment industry, celebrated for her captivating figure and charisma, all while managing the responsibilities of being a mother to two children.

Lee Sung Kyung:

Born in 1990, Lee Sung Kyung started her career as a model and boasts an impressive height of 175cm (approximately 5’9″). Her striking features, towering stature, and acting prowess have propelled her into a familiar face within the fashion industry, as she continues to represent numerous prestigious brands and grace the covers of renowned magazines.

Han Hyo Joo:

Often acclaimed as “Korea’s most beautiful smiling beauty,” Han Hyo Joo possesses a commendable height of 172cm (approximately 5’8″). Her enchanting smile and long, captivating legs consistently make her the center of attention whenever she makes an appearance.

The Elevation of Korean Male Celebrities Lee Kwang Soo:

In the realm of Korean male celebrities, Lee Kwang Soo stands tall, both literally and figuratively, earning himself the affectionate moniker of the “giraffe.” With a towering height of 194cm (approximately 6’4″), he soars far above the average Korean stature. His commanding presence, emphasized by this impressive height, casts a long shadow over his fellow co-stars, making it an unspoken rule in the Korean entertainment industry to “maintain a respectful distance from Lee Kwang Soo.”

Park Seo Joon:

Park Seo Joon has achieved soaring popularity thanks to his stellar performances in hit Korean dramas like “Dream High 2,” “Kill Me, Heal Me,” “She Was Pretty,” “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?,” and most recently, “Itaewon Class.” Beyond his striking looks and exceptional acting talent, his towering height of 185cm (approximately 6’1″) adds an extra layer of allure for his fans. His impressive stature becomes an additional facet of his charm, captivating the hearts of many.

Kwon Hyun Bin:

Before gaining recognition as a member of the group JBJ, Kwon Hyun Bin made his mark as a model for YG Kplus. Standing tall at 187cm (approximately 6’2″), Hyun Bin has emerged as a prominent figure in the Korean fashion and television scene, consistently showcasing his striking and authoritative presence.

SF9 – RoWoon:

RoWoon currently holds the esteemed title of the tallest Korean male idol in the entertainment industry. According to his management company, FNC, he stands at an imposing 189cm (approximately 6’2″), though he personally asserts that his actual height is closer to 190cm (approximately 6’3″). Some fervent fans even speculate that his towering stature may reach a staggering 192-193cm (approximately 6’4″-6’4.5″).

Nam Joo Hyuk:

Another accomplished model-turned-actor, Nam Joo Hyuk, not only boasts a striking visage but also an impressive height of 187cm (approximately 6’2″). He has demonstrated his versatility and talent across a diverse range of projects, firmly establishing himself as a prominent figure in the Korean Hallyu wave.

Unveiling the Quest for Height Enhancement: South Korea’s Decades-Long Journey

From the early 1900s to the 1950s, South Korea found itself at the lower end of the height spectrum in Asia, with an average male height of 161cm and an average female height of 154cm. Faced with this height disparity, the South Korean government embarked on an ambitious mission dedicated to prioritizing the physical development of its youth. This far-reaching initiative, known as “Every Child Grows by 5cm a Year,” was introduced with the aim of inspiring height enhancement among the population.Beneath the surface of this endeavor lay a comprehensive effort led by Korean pediatricians who delved deeply into the exploration of safe and effective strategies for height augmentation. Their meticulous research encompassed nutritional supplements aimed at accelerating growth, addressing the perennial query of which foods contribute to height development. Mothers were even provided with training courses to equip them with knowledge about the safe and healthy growth of their children.

However, within the noble pursuit of achieving greater stature, South Korea’s fixation on height has had its drawbacks. The immense pressure to reach greater heights, both literally and figuratively, has led some to regard men under 175cm as “failures.” Regrettably, in their zealous quest for rapid height enhancement, some parents have resorted to perilous practices, including the improper use of growth hormones and height-boosting drugs. Such practices must be unequivocally discouraged due to the potential hazards they pose.

It is paramount to place the highest importance on adopting healthy methods for height augmentation. Below are some well-established approaches frequently embraced by Korean celebrities:

  1. Nutritional Excellence: A well-rounded diet rich in vital nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals is essential for proper growth and height development.
  2. Exercise Regimen: Engaging in physical activities that encompass stretching, jumping, and hanging can stimulate bone growth and foster better posture.
  3. Adequate Sleep: Sufficient rest is fundamental for overall growth and development, including height.
  4. Posture Perfection: Maintaining good posture and body alignment through targeted exercises and proper body mechanics can optimize one’s height potential.

It is crucial to emphasize overall health and well-being over the single-minded pursuit of height. Each individual possesses a unique genetic potential, and it is essential to embrace and accept one’s natural height.

Beyond these fundamentals, Koreans have also incorporated cultural practices that have indirectly contributed to their impressive stature:

  1. Mountain Mastery: Korea’s mountainous terrain has popularized mountaineering as a stress-relief technique that simultaneously enhances flexibility, positively impacting height development.
  2. Balanced Eating Rituals: Koreans practice a dining method called “banchan,” which encourages moderate food consumption from small plates tailored to individual portions. This approach ensures children receive essential nutrients, mitigating excessive starch intake and promoting a balanced diet.
  3. Fermented Feasts: The inclusion of fermented foods like kimchi, pickled radishes, and yogurt brings a myriad of health benefits, including improved digestion, bolstered immunity, healthier skin, and weight management.
  4. Ginseng Goodness: Korea’s reputation as the birthplace of ginseng has led to its incorporation into various dishes, alongside ginseng-based canned products and cosmetics that are highly regarded for their health and beauty benefits.
  5. Milk Mania: From a young age, Korean children are encouraged to consume ample milk due to its calcium-rich nature, crucial for developing strong bones. Companies have even developed milk products targeting adults to promote height increase, though it’s important to note that milk alone is not a miracle solution for adult height growth.
  6. Sound Slumber: Adequate sleep also plays a pivotal role in height development, facilitating toxin elimination, cell regeneration, organ restoration, and skeletal growth.

Despite being an Asian nation, South Korea’s remarkable height gains are a testament to a decade-long endeavor by both its government and people. If achieving greater stature is your goal, adopting a holistic and health-conscious lifestyle is the key to unlocking your height potential.

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