The average height of countries around the world


Have you ever found yourself contemplating the fascinating variations that exist among the world’s diverse nations? It’s a puzzle that has intrigued many, and the key to unraveling this mystery lies in our genes. Consider the Dutch and the Germans, who share similar genetic backgrounds yet display notable differences in height. These variations not only reflect genetic diversity but also offer insights into the overall health of a population. The quest for the title of the world’s tallest nation has captivated the imagination of many. So, which country can proudly claim this prestigious distinction? And what is the average height of people across the globe? Let’s embark on a journey to explore these intriguing questions and unlock the secrets of human height diversity worldwide.

What does height signify for a country?

In the realm of national identity and well-being, the significance of height cannot be overstated. It serves as a profound marker of a nation’s pride, encompassing a complex interplay of health, economic progress, and societal welfare. This multifaceted measurement carries immense importance for a country, echoing the story of its people and their collective journey towards progress.

First and foremost, height serves as a yardstick for a country’s health. It is a tangible reflection of the physical well-being of its citizens, particularly during their crucial formative years. The height of individuals is profoundly influenced by factors such as nutrition, access to healthcare, and overall living conditions. A country with a higher average height often indicates a population with better access to protein-rich diets, healthcare, and living standards.

Beyond the realm of health, height also provides a glimpse into the contentment of a society. Optimal growth is not merely a result of genetic factors but also a consequence of nurturing, care, and access to nutritious food during pregnancy and childhood. In societies where these elements are prioritized, people tend to grow taller and healthier. In this way, height becomes a reflection of a nation’s commitment to the well-being of its citizens.

Moreover, height serves as an indicator of economic status. Economists and social scientists have long recognized the intricate relationship between a country’s economic situation and the height of its people. Economic prosperity often leads to improved nutrition and living conditions, resulting in increased height. Conversely, economic challenges, such as poverty or inequality, can hinder growth and development.

In essence, height is not just a physical attribute; it is a profound symbol of a country’s progress and well-being. It embodies the collective efforts of a nation to provide its citizens with the opportunity for a healthy and prosperous life. Understanding the significance of height allows us to delve deeper into the complex tapestry of a nation’s identity, shedding light on the challenges it faces and the strides it has made in the pursuit of a better future.


Exploring the Multifaceted Influences on a Nation’s Stature

The fascinating tapestry of human height across the globe is woven from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental forces, each thread contributing to the ultimate stature of a nation’s populace.

Genetics: The Silent Architect of Height

At the core of this intricate puzzle lies the genetic blueprint, orchestrating our physical growth. With the discovery of approximately 700 genetic variations linked to height, we now understand the profound impact of our genetic heritage. For those born into families where everyone shares a similar height, the odds of inheriting that stature are considerably higher. Conversely, if familial heights tend to be on the shorter side, one is more likely to follow suit.

Nutrition: The Building Blocks of Height

In the realm of height determinants, nutrition reigns supreme. The sustenance we consume holds the key to unlocking our potential height. Macronutrients, laden with energy, are the raw materials used in the construction of our skeletal structure. Those fortunate enough to partake in a nutrient-rich diet during their formative years are more likely to tower over their peers with meager diets. Conversely, those subjected to energy-depleted and nutrient-deficient sustenance may face the cruel fate of stunted growth, casting a shadow over their adult stature. Thus, a nation’s average height is inexorably tied to the dietary choices of its inhabitants.

Health: Nurturing Growth in Childhood

The relationship between height and health is symbiotic, with the early years of life serving as a critical juncture. Childhood ailments can become formidable barriers to growth, sapping the availability and demand for vital nutrients that fuel our ascent toward greater stature.

Immigration: Shaping the Height Mosaic

Research delves into the intriguing phenomenon of height disparities between native and immigrant populations. As individuals traverse borders from impoverished regions to more prosperous lands, their diets and healthcare regimens often undergo transformations. These shifts can introduce a discernible height gap among future generations, a testament to the far-reaching consequences of migration on a nation’s physical stature.

In this intricate ballet of genes, nutrition, health, and migration, a country’s height emerges as a captivating reflection of its past, present, and future. The amalgamation of these multifaceted factors crafts a story of human stature that transcends borders and generations, forever intriguing and evolving.

Average Height of Countries Worldwide

The height differences among countries can be attributed to variations in genes as well as living conditions. The global average height of a country is a clear indicator of this difference. Europeans have the highest average height, followed by Australians, while South Asians and Southeast Asians have the lowest average height.

(*Statistics based on World Data)


Asia is a vast continent that can be divided into several regions, including Central Asia (West Asia), Southeast Asia (East Asia), and South Asia. The average height of women in West, East, and Central Asia is 171cm, 160cm, and 155cm, respectively. However, South and Southeast Asia have a slightly lower average height of 166cm and 155cm for men and women, respectively.

The following are the average height of men and women in typical Asian countries:

  • Russia: 176cm for men, 164cm for women
  • Turkey: 176cm for men, 161cm for women
  • Arabic countries: 173cm for men, 160cm for women
  • Iran: 175cm for men, 161cm for women
  • China: 175cm for men, 163cm for women
  • Taiwan: 173cm for men, 160cm for women
  • Japan: 172cm for men, 158cm for women
  • Thailand: 171cm for men, 159cm for women
  • Vietnam: 168cm for men, 158cm for women
  • Indonesia: 166cm for men, 154cm for women.



The average height for women in Australia is 165cm, and for men it is 178cm. Australia is not particularly known for having a significant height disparity, as these figures represent the average height for both genders in typical Australian populations.

  • Australia: 179cm – 165cm
  • New Zealand: 178cm – 165cm
  • Tonga: 175cm – 166cm
  • Samoa: 173cm – 163cm
  • Tuvalu: 171cm – 163cm
  • Kiribati: 170cm – 161cm
  • Palau: 170cm – 159cm
  • Micronesia: 169cm – 159cm
  • Nauru: 169cm – 158cm


The average height for men in Africa is 169.6cm. However, there are regional variations, with men in Central and South Africa averaging 169cm, those in North Africa averaging 173cm, and those in East Africa averaging 167cm. The average height for African women is 158.8cm, with regional differences also present. Women in Central Africa average 158cm, those in South Africa average 159cm, those in North Africa average 161cm, those in East Africa average 157cm, and those in West Africa average 159cm. These figures represent the average height for both men and women in typical African countries.

  • Morocco: 175cm – 161cm
  • Algeria: 174cm – 162cm
  • Egypt: 173cm – 160cm
  • Mauritius: 173cm – 159cm
  • Chad: 171cm – 162cm
  • Sudan / Cameroon: 171cm – 160cm
  • Nigeria: 170 cm – 158 cm
  • Kenya: 170cm – 159cm
  • South Africa: 169cm to 158cm
  • Central Africa: 168cm to 159cm


The United States was once the largest country in the world, but it was soon overtaken by Europe and the Netherlands. The average height for American men is 173.5cm, while the average height for American women is 160.25cm. These figures represent the average height for both genders in typical US populations.

  • Canada: 178 cm – 165 cm
  • Mexico: 170cm – 157cm
  • USA: 177cm – 163cm
  • Brazil: 175cm – 162cm
  • Argentina: 174cm – 161cm
  • Venezuela: 173cm – 160cm
  • Columbia: 171cm – 158cm
  • Bolivia: 168cm – 155cm
  • Ecuador: 167cm – 155cm


Today, European countries have the highest average height in the world. According to statistics, the average height for men in Western European countries is 180cm, while for women it is 166cm. Southern Europe has an average height of 176cm for men and 163cm for women, Eastern Europe has 178cm for men and 165cm for women, and Northern Europe has 179cm for men and 165cm for women. These figures represent the average height for both men and women in many European countries.

  • Netherlands: 184cm to 170cm (World’s tallest country).
  • Montenegro: 183cm to 170cm (2nd tallest country in the world).
  • Estonia is 182 cm – 168 cm (3rd tallest country in the world).
  • Denmark: 182cm – 169cm
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: 182cm – 167cm
  • Iceland: 181cm – 168cm
  • Czech Republic: 181cm – 168cm
  • Slovenia / Slovakia / Croatia: 181cm – 167cm
  • Sweden: 180cm – 167cm
  • Finland: 180cm – 166cm
  • Germany: 180cm – 166cm
  • Switzerland: 179cm – 164cm

Exploring Continental Disparities in Average Height

In recent generations, there has been a remarkable surge in the average height of individuals on each continent, signifying substantial progress. However, the pace of this growth varies considerably across the globe.

Presently, Europe stands tall as the continent boasting the loftiest average height, with approximately 20 nations leading the global height rankings. The Netherlands, Montenegro, and Estonia secure the top three spots. Yet, Asia and Africa also display noteworthy figures in terms of average height.

It’s important to note that these height differentials across continents aren’t solely a result of genetic disparities but are also intertwined with divergences in living standards.

Deciphering the Global Human Height Spectrum

On a global scale, the average height for adult males stands at 171cm. Nevertheless, this figure undergoes significant fluctuations across countries. For instance, East Timorese men tend to be the shortest at 159cm, while the Dutch ascend to impressive heights with an average of 184cm.

As for women, their average height falls short by 12cm compared to their male counterparts, with the global adult female average resting at 159cm. Guatemala is home to the shortest women, with an average height of 151cm, while the Netherlands boasts the tallest women, averaging at 170cm.

The Nexus Between Height and Weight

Height and weight are intricately linked and serve as crucial health indicators throughout childhood and adolescence. If one of these indicators deviates by a standard deviation, it inevitably impacts the other.

For example, if your skeletal system is designed to accommodate a weight of 55kg, exceeding this threshold with excess weight or obesity can exert significant strain on your joints and impede growth. Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle often associated with overweight individuals can contribute to nutritional deficiencies, further hindering healthy bone development.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) serves as a valuable tool to elucidate the interplay between weight and height. The formula involves dividing weight (in kg) by the square of height (in meters). A BMI result falling below 18.5 suggests that a child is underweight. For Asians, a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 22.9 falls within the realm of normal weight, whereas non-Asians consider a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 as normal. A BMI exceeding 23 (among Asians) or 25 is indicative of overweight or obesity.

Reviewed by Dr.Joy bauer