Height of middle school students in South Korea 2000-2018, by gender

The height of middle school students in Korea is steadily increasing. In 2018, middle school boys were 166.3 centimeters and middle school girls were 158.9 centimeters on average. In recent years, the growth has slowed, but compared to 2000 figures, boys in 2018 grew by 4.5 centimeters and girls by 1.6 centimeters.

”South Korean school system“

The South Korean school system is divided into elementary school, middle school, high school, and university. Six years of elementary school and three years of middle school education are compulsory. When students enter middle school, the level of happiness decreases sharply due to the full-fledged university entrance examination process. In general, students will wear uniforms starting from middle school, with restricted clothing and hair style.

The total number of schools at all levels in South Korea, from kindergarten to graduate school, was over 20 thousand in 2019. In recent years, the number of students per class in schools across all levels has significantly decreased due to continued lower birth rates. For example, the number of students per class in middle schools fell from around 38 in 2000 to around 25.1 in 2019. The South Korean school year consists of two semesters; the Spring semester from March to June and the Fall semester from September to December, with graduation in February.

”Private education in South Korea“

In 2018, 72.8 percent of Korea's primary and secondary students participated in private education. Despite the government's efforts to strengthen the public education system, the participation rate in private education has increased again recently. The participation rate of private education by school level was highest for elementary school students and lowest for high school students in terms of increasing after-school hours. Mathematics was the school subject with the highest participation rate in private education, closely followed by English. Korean students spent 6.2 hours a week in private tutoring, and the most common method was to go to a private academy after school. Participation in private tutoring was not dependent on students’ academic performance. In addition, the average monthly tutoring cost per student steadily increased to 291 thousand won in 2018.

Average height of middle school students in South Korea from 2000 to 2018, by gender

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Release date

October 2019


South Korea

Survey time period

2000 to 2018

Age group

13 years

Supplementary notes

According to the source, middle schools are defined as educational institutions for students aged 12 to 14.

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