The Average Heights of Men Around the World

In the ever-evolving tapestry of human existence, one striking aspect that has captured the attention of scholars and curious minds alike is the steady increase in the average height of men across generations. While it is indeed a widely recognized phenomenon that contemporary men tend to tower over their great-grandfathers, the extent of this disparity is not uniform and is influenced by a complex interplay of factors. Geographical location, access to adequate nutrition, and a myriad of other variables all play pivotal roles in shaping this intriguing trend. If you find yourself pondering over the nuances of this global transformation, this article will serve as your compass, guiding you through the labyrinth of data and insights pertaining to the average height of men on a global scale. Prepare to embark on a journey that unveils the fascinating dynamics behind this modern phenomeno

Regional Variations

North America

The continent of North America boasts a rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds, leading to substantial variations in average heights. In the United States, for example, the typical height for adult men hovers around 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm). Neighboring Canada, with its vast expanse and multicultural population, tends to report a similar average stature.


Europe stands as home to some of the world’s loftiest individuals. Nations such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway consistently document average heights that soar well above 6 feet (183 cm). This remarkable phenomenon can be attributed to a blend of genetic predisposition and a generally high quality of life.


The continent of Asia encompasses an immense range of cultures, and this is mirrored in the diverse landscape of average heights. In countries like Japan and South Korea, where nutrition is generally exceptional, the average height tends to be around 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm). In contrast, nations in South Asia may report slightly lower averages due to factors such as malnutrition.


Africa, characterized by its vast size and multitude of ethnic groups, presents a wide spectrum of heights across its nations. North African countries often report taller average heights when compared to some sub-Saharan African counterparts. These variations are shaped by a complex interplay of genetic diversity and nutritional factors.

South America

Much like Europe, South America showcases a mix of taller and shorter populations. Countries such as Argentina and Uruguay frequently record average heights surpassing 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm), while other nations in the region tend to have slightly lower averages

The average height for men in the U.S

Around a century ago, the average male in the United States measured 67 inches (5 feet 7 inches) and ranked the third position worldwide. Although this number has substantially increased to 69 inches (5 feet 9 inches) in 2017, they have gone down to 37th place [1].

As compared to other nations, this rate has slowed. It is because other countries are growing at a quicker speed while the U.S. just increases in average height.


The average height for men worldwide

Changes in height between people living in particular regions are dependent not only due to genetic factors but also differences in living conditions. Also, environmental factors like nutrition, health, climate, or urbanization might influence the growth of kids and adolescents.

Looking across the world, the tallest men are found in Europe with an average height of 180 cm (5 feet 10.9 inches). Meanwhile, South Asians and South-East Asians tend to be the shortest with men having an average height of 165 cm (5 feet 4.6 inches) [2].

ContinentAverage Male Height
Europe5 ft 10.9 in (180 cm)
Australia5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
North America5 ft 9.7 in (177 cm)
South America5 ft 8.1 in (173 cm)
West, East, Central Asia5 ft 6.9 in (170 cm)
Africa5 ft 6.1 in (168 cm)
Central America5 ft 6.1 in (168 cm)
South, South-East5 ft 4.6 in (164 cm)

What nations have the highest average male height?

As mentioned above, the American male lies pretty much in the middle of the national average heights. And the countries with the tallest men are mainly found in Europe. Take a look at the chart below and find out the world’s 10 tallest countries [3].

CountryAverage Male Height
The Netherlands6 ft 0.36 in (183.8 cm)
Montenegro6 ft 0.17 (183.3 cm)
Estonia5 ft 11.97 in (182.8 cm)
Bosnia & Herzegovina5 ft 11.85 in (182.5 cm)
Iceland5 ft 11.69 in (182.1 cm)
Denmark5 ft 11.61 in (181.9 cm)
Czech Republic5 ft 11.34 in (181.2 cm)
Latvia5 ft 11.34 in (181.2 cm)
Slovakia5 ft 11.26 in (181 cm)
Slovenia5 ft 11.26 in (181 cm)

Accurately measuring your height

Here are three methods for measuring your height:

Measure your height with a partner:

  • Stand with your feet together and level your shoulders while straightening your arms and legs.
  • Ask your partner to ensure you are in the correct form.
  • Press your shoulders, head, heels, and butt against the wall.
  • Look straight ahead.
  • Have your partner mark your height with a wall-mounted ruler, book, or any straight object.
  • Use a tape measure to measure your height from the floor to the mark.

Measure your height by yourself:

  • Stand tall with your shoulders flat against the wall.
  • Slide a book or cutting board along the wall until it comes down to make firm contact with the top of your head.
  • Mark under the object where it sits.
  • Use a tape measure to measure your height.

Visit your doctor’s office:

While the above methods can provide a relatively accurate measurement, it is recommended to have your height measured at your doctor’s office. The equipment used there is typically better calibrated, and healthcare professionals are better trained to collect the most accurate measurements.

Which factors help increase height for men?

The height of men is determined by various factors. While genetics plays a significant role, external and environmental factors also contribute to an individual’s overall height.

Have a well-balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet provides numerous health benefits, including the potential to improve height. Proper nutrition is especially important during the growing years of children and adolescents to ensure their diet contains all necessary nutrients.

A well-balanced diet should include:

  • Dairy products
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Proteins
  • Whole grains

Getting enough sleep

Getting enough high-quality sleep each night is essential for proper growth. During sleep, the body produces human growth hormones (HGH), and adequate and restful sleep is necessary to stimulate HGH production. Therefore, it is crucial to get the right amount of sleep each day to reach your maximum height potential. Children require 11-14 hours of sleep per night, while teenagers should aim for 8-11 hours of sleep.


Stay active

Regular physical activity is essential for elongating the body and promoting height growth. Certain movements and exercises can stretch and lengthen the tendon cartilage bands surrounding the arms and legs, creating space for better bone growth and development.

Boys who are still growing and wish to boost their height should consider incorporating the following exercises into their routine:

  • Cardio and aerobic exercises
  • Sit-ups or push-ups for body strength
  • Yoga or stretching exercises

Maintain a good posture

Maintaining good posture can also contribute to increased height. Slouching or slumping can place unnecessary stress on the spine, which can have negative effects on the body. Poor posture can also alter the shape of the spine, potentially hindering growth and negatively impacting overall health. Therefore, it is essential to practice good posture by keeping your back straight and your shoulders in a straight line.

Keep an ideal weight

As mentioned above, having a proper and nutritional diet to get the best growth is necessary. However, it is important to make sure your daily diet is not making you fat. You should know that being overweight during growing years might negatively affect your growth in height. That is because when your weight is heavy, it might make your bone structure become weak and result in height loss.

Dress to look taller

Check out these tips to dress to make yourself appear taller, guys!

  • Wear fitted clothes and suits
  • Keep the waist button on your coat placed above the navel
  • Add accessories like hats, tie pins, lapel pins, or glasses high-up on your body
  • Wear shorter jackets
  • Leave no break on the pant legs
  • Wear colors within the same color

Spend more time in the sun

Vitamin D is vital to support bone and muscle growth and encourage the body to absorb more calcium, thereby increasing height effectively. And one of the richest sources of this vitamin is sunlight. Let’s step out in the sun and play, but do not forget to wear sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays.

Avoid stimulants

Drug and alcohol use can stunt growth and lead to medical conditions that can slow down normal development and cause a decrease in height.

Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can also negatively impact the growth of children and teenagers. Research has found that individuals who smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke tend to be shorter than those who do not smoke.

Furthermore, the use of steroids can have harmful effects on the body, including inhibiting bone growth and increasing the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure.


Reduce stress

Long-term stress during childhood results in shorter adult height. That is because stress makes muscles in your back and shoulder tight for a long time, and this affects your height. Badly, it increases hormones that might hinder your growth.

Consider dietary supplements for growth

The idea behind these growth supplements is to give a rich range of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutrients, all necessary for height increase. But you should consider some products that promise a quick boost in height.

If you are still here, you will be not concerned whether your son reaches his developmental benchmarks or not. It is because you can try applying all the healthy guidance above along with your pediatrician’s advice to help him improve his height.


In conclusion, the global variation in men’s average heights is the result of a intricate interplay involving genetics, nutrition, and socioeconomic factors. Delving into these intricate dynamics not only grants us profound insights into the rich tapestry of our world but also underscores the critical imperative of addressing disparities in nutrition and healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do genetics play a more significant role in height than nutrition?

While genetics do play a significant role, proper nutrition is crucial for achieving one’s maximum potential height.

Which region has the shortest average height for men?

Sub-Saharan African countries tend to report slightly shorter average heights compared to other regions.

Are there any health risks associated with being extremely tall?

Extremely tall individuals may face unique health challenges, but these risks are relatively rare.

How do cultural attitudes towards height affect individuals?

Cultural attitudes can influence an individual’s self-esteem and perception of their height, potentially impacting their overall well-being.

What can be done to address height-related disparities in different regions?

Addressing height-related disparities requires a multifaceted approach, including improved access to nutrition and healthcare in underserved communities.

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