Middle Schoolers Grow Taller
The average height of a ninth-grade boy in Seoul has surpassed 170 cm for the first time, though Koreans as an ethnic group seem to have hit the ceiling of their growth potential.
The finding comes from a survey by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education published Sunday, which also projects that the number of primary and secondary school students in the capital will fall below 1 million mark in the next few years due to the low birthrate.
The average height of ninth-graders stood at 170.4 cm for boys and 160.4 cm for girls, 1 cm and 1.2 cm taller than their counterparts a decade ago. But male high school seniors were only 174 cm tall on average, slightly smaller than the 174.6 cm of 2005.
The number of students has been on a rapid decrease. The number of primary and secondary school students reached 1.08 million in April this year, down 4.2 percent on-year. The drop is getting faster, and at the current pace the number of students in Seoul is expected to stand below 1 million by 2017 or 2018.