With all the recent discussions about what age is appropriate for K-Pop idols to debut, it’s interesting to compare the ages between idols that have been in the industry for longer and shorter periods of time. It can be really surprising to find out that idols that debuted in an earlier year are quite a bit younger than those that debuted later, and sometimes, an idol’s personality makes them seem much younger or older than they really are! Here are 12 K-Pop idol age comparisons that will likely surprise you.
1. Jihyo (TWICE) & Kyujin (NMIXX)
While Jihyo and Kyujin’s actual ages aren’t super surprising — Jihyo was born on February 1, 1997 (making her 25) and Kyujin was born on May 26, 2006 (making her 16) — what is shocking is that Jihyo, who debuted with TWICE in 2015, was actually already a trainee at JYP Entertainment before the NMIXX member was even born! Jihyo joined the label in 2005 when she was just 8 years old, and was a trainee for about a decade.
2. BoA & Karina (aespa)
Similar to the previous pairing, BoA and labelmate Karina have a surprising debut and birthday comparison! BoA officially debuted in August 2000 at the age of 13, while Karina was born only a few months earlier on April 11, 2000. It makes it even more interesting that the two worked together for GOT the Beat!
3. Jisoo (BLACKPINK) & Minzy
Minzy is a legendary second generation K-Pop idol, debuting with 2NE1 in May 2009 at the age of 15 (being born on January 18, 1994). Jisoo, though she debuted much later with BLACKPINK in August 2016, is actually only a year younger than her former labelmate! She was born on January 3, 1995, making her 21 when she debuted with BLACKPINK.
4. I.N (Stray Kids) & all ENHYPEN members
I.N is the maknae and baby of Stray Kids, born on February 8, 2001 (making him 21 now, but only 17 when the group debuted in March 2018). Though he’s still seen as quite young by many of the group’s fans, he’s actually older than all of ENHYPEN’s members! ENHYPEN debuted about two and a half years after Stray Kids in November 2020, but their oldest member, Heeseung, was born on October 15, 2001, making him a solid 7 months younger than Stray Kids’ maknae.
5. Lee Know (Stray Kids) & Jungkook (BTS)
Lee Know, on the other hand, is a member of Stray Kids whose mature personality often makes fans forget that he’s still quite young! He was born on October 25, 1998, making him 23 now and 19 at the time Stray Kids debuted. Jungkook on the other hand, who is BTS’s maknae and still seen as the energetic youngster of the group, was born on September 1, 1997, making him 24 and over a year older than Lee Know!
6. Tzuyu (TWICE) & Lia (ITZY)
Though TWICE’s youngest member Tzuyu debuted in October 2016 — three years before ITZY — her age compared to ITZY’s oldest member Lia is surprisingly close! Tzuyu was born on June 14, 1999 — making her 23 now, and 17 at the time she debuted — while Lia was born on July 21, 2000, making her almost 22 now and only a year younger than TWICE’s maknae!
7. Sehun (EXO) & RM (BTS)
Sehun is the maknae of EXO, born on April 12, 1994, making him 28 now and 18 when EXO debuted in April 2012. BTS debuted a just year later in June 2013, and it might be surprising to learn that Sehun is actually older than leader RM! RM was born on September 12, 1994, making the EXO maknae exactly 5 months older than him, and older than the younger half of BTS too!
8. Taeil (NCT) & Taemin (SHINee)
Taemin — born on July 18, 1993 — was just 14 when he debuted with SHINee in May 2008 (and almost 29 now), and it has led to a lot of his juniors in the industry in terms of career length being barely younger or older than him! Fellow labelmate Taeil, the oldest member of NCT, was born on June 14, 1994, making him about a year younger than Taemin. However, he didn’t debut with NCT until April 2016, a whole 8 years after SHINee!
9. Changmin (TVXQ) & Xiumin (EXO)
Another SM Entertainment pairing with an interesting age comparison is Changmin and Xiumin. Changmin originally debuted as the maknae of TVXQ in December 2003 at the age of 15 (born on February 18, 1988). Though Xiumin debuted as EXO’s oldest member nearly a decade later in April 2012, he was born on March 26, 1990, making him just two years younger than the TVXQ member!
10. Jisung (NCT) & Taehyun (TXT)
Both Jisung and Taehyun were born on February 5, 2002, making them currently 20 years old. However, Jisung is technically part of the third generation of K-Pop since he debuted with NCT DREAM in August 2016, while Taehyung is a fourth generation idol after debuting with TXT in March 2019, nearly 3 years later!
11. Dino (SEVENTEEN) & Yeonjun (TXT)
Another pairing of third and fourth generation idols with nearly similar ages are Dino and Yeonjun. Dino is a third generation idol, having debuted with SEVENTEEN in May 2015, while Yeonjun is a fourth generation idol that debuted with TXT in March 2019. However, they were born the same year — Dino on February 11, 1999, and Yeonjun on September 13, 1999!
12. Jian (LIGHTSUM) & HyunA
Finally, Cube Entertainment‘s current idol Jian and former idol HyunA have an interesting age comparison too! Jian was born on November 4, 2006, only 3 months before HyunA originally debuted as an idol in Wonder Girls in February 2007 at the age of 14 (born on June 6, 1992)!