Over the years, the average height for men and women has changed substantially. Some people reach their maximum limit at a young age. Others take more time before they make it to the potential height.
Nutrition and other health factors may cause stature differences among various populations. Immigration may also influence the average height of a person.
This article focuses on the average height for men and women by country and age. It also depicts the relationship between weight and height.
Average Height For Men By Country:
In the year 2010, the average American man was 176 cm(around 69.3 inches) tall. A century ago, the average American man’s height was 170 cm(about 67 inches). Although this marks a growth of more than 2 inches, the rate at which Americans are growing has slowed relative to other nations (1).
In 1896, American men ranked as the third tallest in the world. Since then, they’ve slipped to 37th place in height. This is because other nations are growing at a more rapid rate, while American height growth is slowing down.
Study shows that those nations that have experienced more significant improvements in health and nutrition have also grown taller (2).
The table below includes 2016 data. It shows average heights for men in 15 countries born between 1918 and 1996 (3).
The chart is based on an analysis of hundreds of population-based studies.
|Country||Average Male Height In Feet, Inches, Centimeters|
|The Netherlands||5 ft 1.9 in (182.5 cm)|
|Germany||5 ft 10.8 in (179.9 cm)|
|Australia||5 ft 10.6 in (179.2 cm)|
|Canada||5 ft 10.1 in (178.1 cm)|
|United Kingdom||5 ft 9.9 in (177.5 cm)|
|Jamaica||5 ft 8.7 in (174.5 cm)|
|Brazil||5 ft 8.3 in (173.6 cm)|
|Iran||5 ft 8.3 in (173.6 cm)|
|China||5 ft 7.6 in (171.8 cm)|
|Japan||5 ft 7.2 in (170.8 cm)|
|Mexico||5 ft 6.5 in (169 cm)|
|Nigeria||5 ft 5.3 in (165.9 cm)|
|Peru||5 ft 5 in (165.2 cm)|
|India||5 ft 4.9 in (164.9 cm)|
|The Philippines||5 ft 4.25 in (163.2 cm)|
Average Height For Women By Country:
According to the reports, the average American women’s height has increased only very slightly since the 1960s. However, weight has increased significantly in the last 60 years (4).
Research from 2016 study shows that height is related to the nutrition quality in childhood (5).
According to Majid Ezzati, the professor of Global Environmental Health at Imperial College London, the immigration of people from countries with shorter height may also have some impact on the average.
On the other hand, the tallest women can be found in the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia. In these countries, the average height is just above 66 inches, or around 5 feet 6 inches.
For women, the average height by country are as follows:
|Country||Average Female Height In Feet, Inches, Centimeters|
|The Netherlands||5 ft 6 in (167.5 cm)|
|Germany||5 ft 4 in (162.8 cm)|
|Australia||5 ft 3.5 in (161.8 cm)|
|Canada||5 ft 4 in (162.3 cm)|
|United Kingdom||5 ft 3.7 in (161.9 cm)|
|Jamaica||5 ft 3 in (160.8 cm)|
|Brazil||5 ft 2.5 in (158.8 cm)|
|Iran||5 ft 2.1 in (157.2 cm)|
|China||5 ft 2.4 in (158 cm)|
|Japan||5 ft 2 in (157.1 cm)|
|Mexico||5 ft 2.4 in (159 cm)|
|Nigeria||5 ft 3 in (160.3 cm)|
|Peru||4 ft 11.5 in (151 cm)|
|India||5 ft 2.5 in (158.5 cm)|
|The Philippines||5 ft 0 in (151.8 cm)|
Average Height For American Male By Age:
According to the 2015-2016 study, the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 175.4 centimetres (about 5 feet 9 inches) (6).
An analytic sampling includes 47,233 men and women, at least 20 years of age. The participants reported their characteristics like races, ages, regions, and whether they were of Spanish/Hispanic origin. The average height of 175.4 centimetres (5 feet 9 inches) takes all groups into account (7).
Over the past decades, American children have come across fewer growth-stunting nutritional issues or health problems, and so they have grown up taller.
Since this improvement in health has persisted for the last 20 years, children are no longer growing taller than their parents.
Average Height For American Female By Age:
As of the year 2016, the average height for American females aged 20 years and above is just under 63.7 inches(5 foot 4 inches). The average weight is about 170 pounds.
Over the years, body shape and size have changed. Back in the 1960s, the average woman aged between 20 to 74 years stood 63.1 inches tall and weighed about 140.2 pounds (8).
The average height for women in the U.S. has only increased by an inch over the same period, indicating that weight is growing much faster than height.
Factors Affecting The Height:
The human height is 60 to 80% heritable, which means the difference in height between people is due to genetic factors.
This indicates that genetics influences the height differences between individuals living in environments that offer quality nutrition and little exposure to disease (9).
In more challenging conditions, factors like diet and exposure to disease can considerably affect the stature.
Causes other than genetics that can affect height are:
- Premature birth: Premature babies often tend to have a lower birth weight. Prematurity is also an independent aspect affecting height. Premature babies may grow to be a few centimetres shorter on average as adults
- Birth weight: It is the result of many factors, such as genetics and nutrition in the womb. It is an essential predictor of height.
- Hormones: Hormones can affect growth throughout life, especially during puberty. Hormonal imbalances can cause people unusually tall or short.
- Nutrition: Nutrition plays a significant role in height. People with inadequate nutrition, especially those who don’t get sufficient calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals, may not grow as tall.
- Geographic location: There is a relationship between geographic location and ethnicity, which is height. Beyond this thing, location affects exposure to natural sunlight, a key source of vitamin D. Location can also change access to nourishing food, poverty, and overall health.
- Stunted growth: Factors such as eating disorders, severe illnesses, and exposure to some medications, can cause people to grow less tall.
Health Conditions That Cause Extremes In Height:
Medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and cancer can affect height. A handful of other states can also cause extremes in height.
Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias (SED):
SED results in shorter than the average trunk. It’s also a genetic problem, but it is often not diagnosed until middle childhood (10).
Achondroplasia is a medical disorder that results in short legs and arms. It is also the main cause of dwarfism. Those with achondroplasia average about 48 inches tall (11).
Diastrophic dysplasia is an unusual genetic form of dwarfism that shortens the calves and forearms.
Individuals with dwarfism may experience a variety of health issues (12).
Children who are suffering from adenoma, a tumour of the pituitary gland, may secrete growth hormone excessively. This causes them to grow much taller.
Gigantism is the result of a pituitary tumour, though some rare medical disorders can also cause excessive growth. These include:
- Carney complex
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1
- McCune-Albright syndrome
Those who are abnormally tall are also at risk of a vast number of health problems. Their extreme size can strain the metabolic system and cause cardiovascular problems, including an enlarged heart (13).
Relationship Between Height And Weight:
Height and weight are connected in terms of health. A healthy body mass index (BMI) determines fit body weight for your height.
This means that one person could be measured severely obese, and another could be underweight if they had different heights while weighing remains the same.
A healthy BMI is the 18.5 to 24.9 range. BMIs between 25 and 29.9 are marked as overweight, while a BMI over 30 indicates obesity. A BMI below 18.5 is categorized as underweight.
For an average man with a stature of 175.26 cm, a healthy weight is between 128-168 pounds (14).
People with too low or high BMIs are vulnerable to a wide range of medical illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndromes.
The Bottom Line:
Access to height growth pills like Growth Factor Plus, a proper diet, and a certain amount of sleep can help adult males and females to grow taller.
For adults, BMI helps you to figure out if you are at a healthy weight for your height. It is an easy way to measure body weight.
On the other hand, your doctor can provide you with more personalized information, and help you to create a diet and exercise plan.
Eat healthy food, stay hydrated, and do exercise daily to maximize your overall fitness.