Wetall is a specialist in tall people, so it makes sense to look at the average height of people in every country in the world, so you know where you can blend in on holiday.

Which country has the biggest...average height?

Numerous studies are regularly carried out around the world to define the average height of populations in each country. This provides a global picture of the population height of each country. However, some population size studies are not conducted on a large enough scale to make them valid. We will therefore present different rankings: official and unofficial ones. We will also look at the trends in average heights over time by country.  Finally, some videos and external links will help us dig deeper into the matter.

Foreword

It is now fully accepted that the three most influential factors in growth are

  • food
  • the environment
  • genes.

The following figures show that the evolution of a country’s standard of living over the decades has an influence on the evolution of its average population size.

Official ranking

According to the official ranking of scientifically attested average heights, the Netherlands is the country with the tallest average male population. They are followed by Belgians, Estonians and Latvians. Among women, Latvians are the tallest, followed by Dutch, Estonians and Czechs.

The most important study carried out on the subject is the one directed by James Bentham. They analysed 1472 studies from 200 countries:

Average height for men per country:

  1. Holland, 182,5 cm
  2. Latvia, 181,4 cm
  3. Germany, 179,9 cm
  4. France, 179,7 cm
  5. Sweden, 179,7 cm
  6. Finland, 179,6 cm
  7. Australia, 179,2 cm
  8. Canada 178,1 cm
  9. Italy, 177,8 cm
  10. United Kingdom, 177,5 cm

All the ranking here

Average women per country:

  1. Latvia, 169,8 cm
  2. Holland, 168,7
  3. Finland, 165,9
  4. Germany, 165,9
  5. Australia, 165,9
  6. Sweden, 165,7
  7. Russia, 165,3
  8. France, 164,9
  9. Greece, 164,9
  10. Italy, 164,6

UK is 12th with 164,4

All the ranking here

Unofficial rankings

Other smaller studies have been carried out and have shown different results. Often the sample size was not large enough to be representative of the population. Therefore, the following ranking is an unofficial one.

World rankings for males 2021

# Country Men in cm Men in inches
1 Montenegro 183,4 6 ft 0 in
2 Serbia 182 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina 181,7 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
4 Sweden 181,5 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
5 Lithuania 181,3 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
6 Iceland 181 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in
7 Netherlands 180,8 5 ft 11 in
8 Croatia 180,4 5 ft 11 in
9 Denmark 180,4 5 ft 11 in
10 Slovenia 180,3 5 ft 11 in
11 Czech Republic 180,3 5 ft 11 in
12 Norway 179,7 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
13 Slovakia 179,4 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
14 Estonia 179,1 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
15 Austria 179 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
16 Finland 178,9 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
17 Poland 178,7 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
18 Belgium 178,6 5 ft 10 1⁄2 in
19 Switzerland 178,2 5 ft 10 in
20 Russia 177,2 5 ft 10 in
21 Israel 177 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
22 Greece 177 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
23 New Zealand 177 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
24 Ireland 177 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
25 Italy 176,5 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
26 Tonga 176,1 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
27 Hungary 176 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in
28 France 175,6 5 ft 9 in
29 Australia 175,6 5 ft 9 in
30 Germany 175,4 5 ft 9 in

World rankings for females 2021

 

# Country Women in centimeters Women in inches
1 Montenegro 169,4  
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina 169,4 5 ft 6 1⁄2 in
3 Belgium 168,1 5 ft 6 in
4 Iceland 168 5 ft 6 in
5 Lithuania 167,5 5 ft 6 in
6 Netherlands 167,5 5 ft 6 in
7 Slovenia 167,4 5 ft 6 in
8 Czech Republic 167,2 5 ft 6 in
9 Norway 167,1 5 ft 6 in
10 Serbia 166,8 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
11 Sweden 166,8 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
12 Samoa 166,6 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
13 Croatia 166,5 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
14 Austria 166 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
15 Israel 166 5 ft 5 1⁄2 in
16 Slovakia 165,6 5 ft 5 in
17 Azerbaijan 165,4 5 ft 5 in
18 Finland 165,3 5 ft 5 in
19 Tonga 165,3 5 ft 5 in
20 Poland 165,1 5 ft 5 in
21 Greece 165 5 ft 5 in
22 Russia 164,1 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in
23 New Zealand 164 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in
24 Hungary 164 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in
25 Portugal 163,7 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in
26 Bulgaria 163,2 5 ft 4 1⁄2 in
27 Ireland 163 5 ft 4 in
28 Spain 163 5 ft 4 in
29 Senegal 163 5 ft 4 in
30 Germany 162,8 5 ft 4 in

 

source: worldpopulationrevue.com

 Studies about height average in the world

Country/Region Average height of men Average height of women Year  
 
 
Dinaric Alps 185.6 cm (6 ft 1 in) 171.8 cm (5 ft 7 12 in) 2005  
Bosnia Herzegovina 183.9 cm (6 ft 0 in) 171.8 cm (5 ft 7 in) 2014  
Montenegro 183.4 cm (6 ft 0 in) 169.4 cm (5 ft 6 12 in) 2017  
Serbia 182.0 cm (5 ft 11 12 in) 166.8 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2012  
Island 181 cm (5 ft 11 12 in) 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2007  
Bosnia Herzegovina 181.7 cm (5 ft 11 12 in) 169.4 cm (5 ft 6 12 in) 2017  
Sweden 181.5 cm (5 ft 11 12 in) 166.8 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2008  
Lithuania 181.3 cm (5 ft 11 12 in) 167.5 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2001  
The Netherlands 180.8 cm (5 ft 11 in) 167.5 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2013  
Finland 180.7 cm (5 ft 11 in) 167.2 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2010–2011  
Croatia 180.4 cm (5 ft 11 in) 166.49 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2006–2008  
Denmark 180.4 cm (5 ft 11 in) N/A 2012  
Slovenia 180.3 cm (5 ft 11 in) 167.4 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2011  
Czech Republic 180.31 cm (5 ft 11 in) 167.22 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2001  
Austria 179 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 166 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2006  
Norway 179.7 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 167.1 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2012  
Norway 179.7 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 167 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2008–2009  
Kosovo 179.52 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 165.72 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2017  
Slovakia 179.4 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 165.6 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2004  
Estonia 179.1 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) N/A 2003  
Germany 178 cm (5 ft 10 in) 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2009  
Finland 178.9 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 165.3 cm (5 ft 5 in) 1994  
Poland 178.7 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 165.1 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2010  
Belgium 178.6 cm (5 ft 10 12 in) 168.1 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2001  
Lithuania (city-dwellers) 178.4 cm (5 ft 10 in) N/A 2005  
Switzerland 178.2 cm (5 ft 10 in) N/A 2009  
Greece 177 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2003  
Ireland 177 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 163 cm (5 ft 4 in) 2007  
Israel 177 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 166 cm (5 ft 5 12 in) 2010  
New Zealand 177 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 164 cm (5 ft 4 12 in) 2007  
Sweden 177.9 cm (5 ft 10 in) 164.6 cm (5 ft 5 in) 1987–1994  
Ireland 177.5 cm (5 ft 10 in) 163.5 cm (5 ft 4 12 in) 2001  
Hungary 177.3 cm (5 ft 10 in) N/A 2005  
India 177.3 cm (5 ft 10 in) N/A 2013  
Italy 177.2 cm (5 ft 10 in) 167.8 cm (5 ft 6 in) 2001  
Russia 177.2 cm (5 ft 10 in) 164.1 cm (5 ft 4 12 in) 2004  
United Kingdom 177.0 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 162.0 cm (5 ft 4 in) 2009  
USA 177.0 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 163.3 cm (5 ft 4 12 in) 2015–2016  
Hungary 176 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 164 cm (5 ft 4 12 in) 2000s  
Italy 176.5 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 162.5 cm (5 ft 4 in) 1999–2004  
Lithuania 176.2 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) N/A 2005  
Tonga 176.1 cm (5 ft 9 12 in) 165.3 cm (5 ft 5 in) 2001  
Australia 175.6 cm (5 ft 9 in) 161.8 cm (5 ft 3 12 in) 2011–2012  
France 175.6 cm (5 ft 9 in) 162.5 cm (5 ft 4 in) 2003–2004  
USA 175.5 cm (5 ft 9 in) 162.6 cm (5 ft 4 in) 2015-2016  
Germany 175.4 cm (5 ft 9 in) 162.8 cm (5 ft 4 in) 2007  

Changes in population height over time

 

The majority of countries have seen their quality of life improve in recent decades. This has had a direct impact on the increase of their average height.

The countries that have experienced the greatest growth are Iranian men, who have increased their height by 16.5 cm since 1914, and South Korean women, who have increased their height by 20.2 cm.

The results in pictures :

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Evolution of the average male height

Images sourced from: eLife

Find all the data on the study in the article published by James Bentham and his team.

Resources

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Why are the Dutch so tall?

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