South Koreans Are Now Younger Due To New Ageing Law

Who says you can't grow younger?

Cover image via NBC News

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South Koreans are now a year or two younger after a new ageing law was passed on Wednesday, 28 June

For years, the country used the traditional methods of calculating age by considering the first year of a baby's life as age one or ageing by a year every first day of January, instead of on their birthdays.

However, on Wednesday, the country scrapped that system to follow the international method of calculating one's age.

According to BBC, the president of South Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, had been pushing for this change since he came into office last year, saying that the traditional age-counting methods created "unnecessary social and economic costs".

One local whose age went from 87 to 86 overnight due to the new law.

Image via Anthony Wallace/AFP

Many locals have been thrilled by the new change

"It feels good because for people, like me, who were supposed to turn 60 next year, they would be 58 or 59 — and that makes you feel like you're still young," housewife Lee Jung Yee told AFP.

"It's confusing when a foreigner asks me how old I am as I know they mean international age, so I have to do some calculations," office worker Hong Suk Min also shared.

Standardising ages will "reduce various social confusions and disputes," added Lee Wan Kyu, the Minister of Government Legislation, at a news briefing on Monday, 26 June, CNN reported.

Another local whose age went from 33 to 31.

Image via NBC News

Despite the new law, the old system will still be used in some circumstances

These circumstances include the year a child starts school, which will remain at six years old, regardless of which month they are born in. 

People can also buy alcohol and tobacco based on the year they are born, regardless of the month. This means that someone born in January 2004 and another born in December 2004 will be able to purchase the age-restricted products. The legal drinking age in South Korea is 19.

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