Why South Koreans Are So Tall? All You Need To Know

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Have you ever swooned over a photo of a K-Pop idol? Ever wondered why almost all Korean idols and actors look so statuesque?

Koreans are often praised for their good looks and model-like proportions, but are they actually tall?

If you’re curious about the secret behind Koreans’ tall height, read on! We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Are Koreans really tall?

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According to several studies, the average height of a Korean male is around 173 cm or approximately 5 feet and 8 inches. On the other hand, the average Korean female is 161 cm or around 5 feet and 3 inches.

People from Western countries may think that these numbers are pretty short. However, these heights are actually pretty tall compared to other countries, especially Korea’s neighbors in Asia.

Let’s take a look at Koreans’ height compared to other Asian countries.

How tall are Koreans compared to other Asian countries?

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On average, Koreans have about the same height as other East Asian countries. A typical Japanese man is about 171.20 cm (~5’6) while a woman is around 157 cm (~5’2) tall. China’s statistics are also similar, with an average height of 171.80 cm (~5’6) for males and 159.70 cm (~5’3) for females.

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But compared to countries outside of East Asia, Koreans are actually pretty tall. Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and the Philippines have pretty short average heights.

Indonesian men are only 163.55 cm (~5’5) tall on average while women are 152.59 cm (~5’0). Meanwhile, Filipinos have one of the shortest average heights in Asia. A typical Filipino man is only around 163.22 cm (~5’5) while a woman is about 149.60 cm (4’10) tall.

How Koreans’ height increased over time

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Koreans haven’t always been tall. Past generations were actually a lot shorter! During the Joseon era, the average height of a Korean man was just around 161 cm (~5’3) while women were around 148 cm (~4’10).

According to several studies, Koreans have grown the most over the past 100 years. But what exactly happened to make them grow so tall?

The biggest factors are modernization and nutrition. Back when Korea was a very poor country, children couldn’t eat the proper amount of food that would help them grow taller. Life and economic conditions were also quite horrible, which definitely contributed to people’s health.

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But in the 1970s and 80s, Korea began to have rapid economic growth. As their economy grew, so too did their height!

As living conditions became better, nutritious food became more accessible. Meat consumption also increased a lot. Nowadays, Korea is well-known for its meat dishes such as samgyeopsal, galbi, and more. Eating heartier foods definitely gives people the right nutrients they need to grow taller.

In short, as Korea recovered economically and financially, Koreans were able to have better lifestyles. These lifestyles contributed a lot to their overall health–and height!

Why are Koreans tall? The Main Reasons

Height is just one of the many beauty standards in Korea. It is believed that being tall is an advantage in life. That’s why many parents do a lot of things to make their children grow tall.

Proper Lifestyle

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As we’ve mentioned, lifestyle is definitely one of the biggest factors around Koreans’ height growth. Protein-rich foods such as grilled meat and fish dishes can help one grow taller and stronger. Korean cuisine is definitely full of such food: from Korean BBQ to maeuntang (spicy fish stew), and more!

Aside from a nutritious diet, there are also other factors to consider. Getting a good night’s sleep is another way to grow taller over time.

Good Proportions

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Even if a Korean person wasn’t born naturally tall, they can look taller if they have good proportions.

That’s why one of the biggest beauty standards in Korea is having a small face. They say a smaller face helps you look taller–especially in photos!

Having a shorter torso and longer legs can also make someone look taller. This illusion can easily be achieved by using the right clothing, such as high-waisted pants and cropped or tucked-in tops.

Of course, many celebrities also wear heels or shoe inserts to look taller!

Read More: The Most Strict Beauty Standards For Korean Women

Who are the tallest Korean idols?

Because height is a big deal by Korean beauty standards, it’s no wonder that some of the most popular K-Pop idols are so tall! Take a look at this list of some of the most impressively tall idols in the industry.

SF9 Rowoon – 192 cm

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First up is this charming idol-actor from the group SF9! At a whopping 192 cm (~6’3) tall, Rowoon is one of the tallest idols out there. His handsome features and statuesque height definitely make him stand out from the crowd.

Seventeen Mingyu – 187 cm

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At 187 cm (~6’1), one of Seventeen’s rappers is definitely tall, dark, and handsome. Mingyu is considered one of the most dashing idols out there. Fans especially love seeing him in a suit which highlights his gorgeous features and mile-long legs even more!

EXO Chanyeol – 185 cm

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Only a few centimeters behind is this K-Pop veteran standing at 185 cm (~6’0) tall. EXO’s Chanyeol is definitely one of the most striking idols working today. Fans go crazy when he wears long coats which make him look even taller and more handsome!

Weki Meki Doyeon – 173 cm

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The women of K-Pop definitely have some tall beauties too! One of the most famous is Weki Meki’s Doyeon at 173 cm (~5’8). Her model-like height definitely catches a lot of attention. Pair those legs with a gorgeous face and lots of talent, and Doyeon pretty much has the whole package!

Twice Tzuyu – 170 cm

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Last but definitely not the least is Twice’s maknae, Tzuyu! Though she’s the youngest, Tzuyu towers above her unnies at 170 cm (~5’7)! With her one-of-a-kind face and runway-ready legs, it’s no wonder Tzuyu is considered one of the most beautiful idols in K-Pop.

What did you think of our article? Did you learn something new about the secrets behind Koreans’ height?

While height is different all around the world, it’s no doubt that there’s an interesting backstory about Koreans’ height.

If you liked this article, make sure to check out these posts: Why Koreans Look So Young and The Truth Behind Korean Stereotypes.

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