Average Height of Adults per Country Based On Latest Data

Average Height

Have you ever wondered what the average height of people from your country is? The following article provides a systematic way to compare the average heights of people across the world.

Distinctions have been made between male and female and between countries per continent. Further below, reasons for differences in height have been outlined and trends over the century have been mapped.

AVERAGE HEIGHT OF MEN AND WOMEN PER COUNTRY

MEN WOMEN
Country Height in feet Height in meters Height in feet Height in meters
NORTH AMERICA (& its dependent territories)
Barbados 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.65
Belize 5’7” 1.69 5’2” 1.57
Bermuda 5’8” 1.73 5’3” 1.61
Canada 5’9” 1.75 5’4” 1.623
Costa Rica 5’7” 1.69 5’1” 1.56
Cuba 5’6” 1.68 5’1” 1.560
Greenland 5’9” 1.74 5’3” 1.61
Grenada 5’10” 1.77 5’5” 1.65
Guatemala 4’10” 1.473
Jamaica 5’8” 1.718 5’3” 1.608
Mexico 5’6” 1.67 5’1” 1.550
Panama 5’5” 1.65 4’12” 1.520
Saint Kitts and Nevis 5’7” 1.70 5’3” 1.60
Saint Lucia 5’8” 1.72 5’4” 1.63
United States of America 5’9” 1.75 5’4” 1.622
SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina 5’9” 1.75 5’3” 1.596
Bolivia 5’3” 1.6 4’8” 1.422
Brazil 5’8” 1.731 5’3” 1.588
Chile 5’7” 1.71 5’1” 1.561
Colombia 5’7” 1.706 5’1” 1.550
Ecuador 5’4” 1.635 5’0” 1.535
Paraguay 5’7” 1.69 5’2” 1.584
Peru 5’5” 1.64 4’11” 1.51
Uruguay 5’7” 1.70 5’2” 1.580
Venezuela 5’7” 1.69 5’3” 1.590
EUROPE (Including Transcontinental countries)
Albania 5’9” 1.74 5’4” 1.62
Austria 5’10” 1.77 5’6” 1.676
Azerbaijan 5’8” 1.73 5’5” 1.654
Belarus 5’10” 1.77 5’5” 1.66
Belgium 5’10” 1.77 5’6” 1.681
Bosnia and Herzegovina 6’05” 1.839 5’6” 1.67
Bulgaria 5’9” 1.75 5’4” 1.632
Croatia 5’11” 1.805 5’5” 1.663
Czech Republic 5’11” 1.803 5’6” 1.672
Denmark 6’0” 1.826 5’6” 1.687
Estonia 5’11” 1.791 5’5” 1.650
Finland 5’10” 1.77 5’4” 1.630
France 5’9” 1.756 5’4” 1.625
Germany 5’11” 1.81 5’5” 1.650
Greece 5’10” 1.783 5’5” 1.660
Hungary 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.640
Iceland 5’11” 1.79 5’6” 1.676
Ireland 5’10” 1.78 5’4” 1.635
Italy 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.650
Latvia 5’11” 1.79 5’7” 1.69
Lithuania 5’10” 1.772 5’6” 1.675
Luxembourg 5’11” 1.799 5’5” 1.648
Macedonia 5’10” 1.78 5’3” 1.60
Malta 5’7” 1.699 5’3” 1.599
Moldova 5’9” 1.75 5’4” 1.63
Montenegro 6’0” 1.832 5’5” 1.65
Netherlands 6’05” 1.838 5’7” 1.699
Norway 5’12” 1.824 5’6” 1.670
Poland 5’10” 1.787 5’5” 1.651
Portugal 5’8” 1.737 5’4” 1.637
Romania 5’8” 1.720 5’3” 1.610
Russia 5’10” 1.722 5’5” 1.65
Serbia 5’12” 1.82 5’4” 1.638
Slovakia 5’11” 1.794 5’5” 1.656
Slovenia 5’11” 1.803 5’6” 1.674
Spain 5’10” 1.780 5’5” 1.662
Sweden 5’10” 1.779 5’5” 1.646
Switzerland 5’9” 1.754 5’5” 1.640
Turkey 5’9” 1.740 5’3” 1.589
Ukraine 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.648
United Kingdom 5’10” 1.770 5’4” 1.635
ASIA (including Transcontinental countries)
Afghanistan 5’5” 1.65 5’4” 1.638
Azerbaijan 5’8” 1.73 5’5” 1.654
Bahrain 5’5” 1.651 5’2” 1.542
Bangladesh 5’5” 1.64 4’11” 1.506
Cambodia 5’4” 1.625 5’0” 1.524
China 5’6” 1.67 5’2” 1.586
Hong Kong 5’8” 1.734 5’2” 1.58
India 5’5” 1.647 5’3” 1.612
Indonesia 5’2” 1.580 4’10” 1.470
Iran 5’7” 1.703 5’2” 1.590
Iraq 5’5” 1.654 5’1” 1.558
Israel 5’10” 1.79 5’5” 1.660
Japan 5’7” 1.707 5’2” 1.580
Jordan 5’8” 1.73 5’3” 1.59
Kazakhstan 5’7” 1.690 5’3” 1.598
Kuwait 5’8” 1.73 5’3” 1.60
Laos 5’3” 1.60 4’11” 1.51
Lebanon 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.650
Malaysia 5’5” 1.663 5’0” 1.533
Mongolia 5’6” 1.684 5’2” 1.577
Nepal 5’4” 1.630 4’11” 1.508
North Korea 5’5” 1.656 5’1” 1.549
Pakistan 5’7” 1.693 5’2” 1.585
Philippines 5’4” 1.619 4’11” 1.502
Qatar 5’7” 1.708 5’3” 1.60
Russia 5’10” 1.772 5’5” 1.649
Saudi Arabia 5’6” 1.689 5’4” 1.625
Singapore 5’7” 1.706 5’3” 1.600
South Korea 5’8” 1.735 5’3” 1.611
Sri Lanka 5’4” 1.636 4’11” 1.514
Syria 5’8” 1.730 5’1” 1.563
Taiwan 5’7” 1.714 5’3” 1.604
Thailand 5’7” 1.703 5’3” 1.590
Turkey 5’9” 1.740 5’3” 1.589
Turkmenistan 5’8” 1.730 5’3” 1.610
United Arab Emirates 5’8” 1.734 5’2” 1.564
Uzbekistan 5’9” 1.754 5’3” 1.599
Vietnam 5’4” 1.621 5’0” 1.522
Yemen 5’4” 1.620 5’1” 1.55
AFRICA
Algeria 5’8” 1.722 5’4” 1.620
Burundi 5’6” 1.68 5’1” 1.55
Cameroon 5’7” 1.706 5’3” 1.613
Chad 5’8” 1.72 5’4” 1.626
Democratic Rep. of Congo 5’6” 1.68 5’1” 1.56
Egypt 5’7” 1.703 5’3” 1.595
Equatorial Guinea 5’7” 1.69 5’2” 1.58
Eritrea 5’7” 1.69 5’2” 1.57
Ethiopia 5’6” 1.68 5’2” 1.576
Gambia 5’7” 1.680 5’2” 1.578
Ghana 5’6” 1.695 5’2” 1.585
Ivory Coast 5’7” 1.701 5’3” 1.598
Kenya 5’7” 1.71 5’3” 1.59
Libya 5’7” 1.713 5’3” 1.605
Malawi 5’5” 1.660 5’1” 1.550
Mali 5’7” 1.713 5’3” 1.604
Mauritania 5’8” 1.720 5’3” 1.607
Mauritius 5’7” 1.71 5’2” 1.57
Morocco 5’8” 1.73 5’2” 1.585
Mozambique 5’5” 1.66 5’1” 1.55
Namibia 5’7” 1.69 5’3” 1.60
Nigeria 5’4” 1.638 5’2” 1.578
Senegal 5’9” 1.750 5’4” 1.630
South Africa 5’6” 1.68 5’2” 1.590
Sudan 5’6” 1.68 5’2” 1.57
Tanzania 5’5” 1.66 5’1” 1.56
Tunisia 5’8” 1.723 5’3” 1.600
AUSTRALIA & OCEANIA
American Samoa 5’9” 1.76 5’5” 1.65
Australia 5’9” 1.756 5’4” 1.634
Cook Islands 5’9” 1.75 5’5” 1.64
French Polynesia 5’10” 1.77 5’5” 1.65
Kiribati 5’7” 1.70 5’2” 1.58
Marshall Islands 5’5” 1.64 4’12” 1.52
Micronesia 5’7” 1.69 5’2” 1.57
Nauru 5’6” 1.68 5’1” 1.55
New Zealand 5’10” 1.770 5’5” 1.64
Niue 5’9” 1.76 5’5” 1.64
Palau 5’6” 1.68 5’2” 1.57
Samoa 5’9” 1.74 5’4” 1.62
Tokelau 5’9” 1.75 5’4” 1.63
Tonga 5’9” 1.761 5’5” 1.66
Tuvalu 5’7” 1.70 5’3” 1.59

Table 1: Table outlining the average heights of men and women according to country and continent. This information was derived from (http://www.averageheight.co/) and (https://www.worlddata.info/average-bodyheight.php)

AVERAGE HEIGHT OF MEN AND WOMEN PER CONTINENT

Continent Men Women
North America 5’8” (1.717m) 5’3” (1.589m)
South America 5’6” (1.685m) 5’1” (1.552m)
Europe 5’10” (1.781m) 5’5” (1.649m)
Asia 5’6” (1.686m) 5’2” (1.577m)
Africa 5’7” (1.696m) 5’2” (1.587m)
Australia & Oceania 5’8” (1.727m) 5’3” (1.610m)

Table 2: Table outlining the average height of men and women per continent. This table was derived from the data present in table 1.

Why are people of different height?

StadiometerAnthropometry which is the study of measurements of the human body has been researched for years. This is owed to the noticeable differences in height of people from particular regions.

There have been many reasons proposed to explain the differences in height of people groups.

Genetics

Research has shown that height is a heritable trait acquired from an individual’s parents (Bentham et al., 2016). Some studies have reported up to 83 coding variants that are associated with height. These coding variants can cause changes of up to 2 cm/allele (Marouli et al., 2016).

A similar study reported variants associated with height that had effects of up to 0.3-0.6 cm/allele (Gudbjartsson et al., 2008). Another study also reports hundreds of genetic variants that affect adult height (Lango Allen., 2010). There reports show that the variation in human height is partly owed to genetics.

Diet and Nutrition

Human height is dependent on a human’s food intake and the demands of their body (Deaton, 2007). If there is malnutrition and thus caloric deficiency, human growth and maturation would be delayed causing a shorter stature (Migliano & Guillon, 2012).

Disease Environment

A highly stressful disease environment could influence height. This is largely owed to the demands on the body caused by disease (Deaton, 2007). This theory could be supported by the increase in height in Europe and North America over the century (Deaton 2007). The disease environment in both continents decreased during that period.

Mortality and Height

This theory proposes that humans in high mortality regions which have poor nutrition develop faster. The pygmie people of the Congo basin were used as an example (Migliano & Guillon, 2012). High mortality results in early maturation and short stature. Early maturation causes early reproduction in order to ensure survival (Migliano & Guillon, 2012).

Living Standards

A study carried out in 2007 aimed to find out if the economic environment had an impact on height. Average women’s height were recorded from 1950-1980 and it was found that the higher the income, the taller the people group (Deaton, 2007). However, this trend was followed by all continents with the exception of Africa (Deaton, 2007).

Africa had the highest disease rate and one of the lowest incomes but their people were taller than South and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (Deaton, 2007). This proposes the idea that a higher income may not necessarily mean better nutrition (Deaton, 2007). It also promotes the influence of genetics on human height.

What are the trends in human height?

  • Increase in height in Europe and North America for men and women over the century (Deaton, 2007) (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • Small change in height in Sub-Saharan African countries and South Asia (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • The tallest people over the century have been men from the Netherlands (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • The shortest women over the century have been women from Guatemala (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • Japanese and South Korean men and women and Iranian men have increased in height more than European men (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • South Korean women have gained the most in height between 1896-1996 by 20.2 cm (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • Iranian men have the second largest increase in height between 1896-1996 by 16.5 cm (Bentham et al., 2016)
  • People living in natural environments in the savanna are taller than people in forests (Migliano & Guillon , 2012)

Fun Facts

  • The tallest man in medical history was Robert Wadlow from America who was 8 ft 11.1 inches (2.72m) tall.
  • The tallest man alive is Sultan Kosen from Turley who is 8 ft 2.1 inches (2.51m) tall.
  • The tallest woman in medical history was Zeng Jinlian from China who was 8 ft 1.75 inches (2.483m) tall.
  • The tallest woman recently was Yao Defen from China who was 7ft 7 inches (233.3cm)
  • The shortest man was Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal who was 21.5 inches (54.6cm) tall.
  • The shortest woman alive is Jyoti Amge from central India who is 2 ft 0.6 inches (62.8cm)

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