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Average Male and Female Height Worldwide

Poor nutrition and frequent illness in childhood limit the growth of human beings. Therefore, the standard of living and the average height of a population in any country is strongly correlated.

In order to decipher the history of living conditions, historians carefully study details about human height. This explains why there is a big difference in the average height between different regions.

This needs to be taken in the right context that average height is not the only parameter to be used as a barometer to measure well-being as mostly it depends on the genetic factor as well within a given population.

Average Male And Female Height Worldwide

There are various other environmental factors such as nutrition, urbanization, health, or climate which influence the overall development of children and adolescents.

The anticipated average height of a man should be 176.5 cm (5 ft 9.5 in) and for women, it is 163 cm (5 ft 4.3 in) as per growth reference standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, the actual worldwide average height of a woman is 159.5 cm (5 ft 2.8 in) only whereas for men, it is 171 cm (5 ft 7.3 in) which is below expectations.

List of the Top 10 Average Heights of Men and Women by Region:

Continent Men Women
North America 5 ft 9.7 in (177 cm) 5 ft 4.6 in (164 cm)
South America 5 ft 7.3 in (171 cm) 5 ft 2.2 in (158 cm)
Central America 5 ft 6.1 in (168 cm) 5 ft 1.0 in (155 cm)
Africa 5 ft 6.1 in (168 cm) 5 ft 2.2 in (158 cm)
West, East, Central Asia 5 ft 7.3 in (171 cm) 5 ft 2.6 in (159 cm)
South, South-East Asia 5 ft 4.6 in (164 cm) 5 ft 0.2 in (153 cm)
Europe 5 ft 10.9 in (180 cm) 5 ft 5.7 in (167 cm)
Australia 5 ft 10.5 in (179 cm) 5 ft 5.0 in (165 cm)


If we compare all the continents in the world then Europe has the tallest men and women with an average height of 180 cm for men and 167 cm for women which is above WHO standards. This is followed by Australia.

People from South-Asian and South-East Asian regions were found to be the shortest with an average height of 153 cm, 165 cm for women and men respectively.

Human height has increased over two centuries

Going by the research done by the University of Tuebingen which took data from 1810 to 1980 on human height for men in different parts of the world, it has been concluded that human height has increased steadily over the past two centuries. This trend is more or less similar to general improvements noticed in health and nutrition during the same period.

Have the heights increased more for Men or Women around the world?

Across all regions, there was approximately a 5% relative increase in the average height of both men and women. Albeit there is a vast difference across countries.

In few countries, the change was different in men and women like in South Korea, the average height for women went up 14% compared to just 9% for men. In the Philippines, it was vice versa wherein male height increased by around 5% compared to just 1% for women.

World’s Top 10 Countries with Maximum Heights:

Rank Name of the country Height
1 Bosnia & Herzegovina  6′ 0.5″ (183.9 cm)
2 The Netherlands  6′ 0.5″ (183.8 cm)
3 Montenegro  6′ 0″ (183.2 cm)
4 Denmark  6′ 0″ (182.6 cm)
5 Norway  5′ 11.75″ (182.4 cm)
6 Serbia  5′ 11.5″ (182.0 cm)
7 Iceland  5′ 11.5″ (182.0 cm)
8 Germany  5′ 11.25″ (181.0 cm)
9 Croatia  5′ 11″ (180.5 cm)
10 The Czech Republic  5′ 11″ (180.3 cm)


Hope you found this article interesting. Stay connected to this space!

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda


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