When it comes to human height, there is a natural variation influenced by various factors such as genetics, ethnicity, nutrition, and overall health. Just as the average height for men fluctuates, so does the average height for women. In the United States, the average height for women stands at approximately 5 feet 4 inches, which translates to about 63.7 inches.
However, it is important to note that these statistics can change over time and differ across different countries and regions. Let’s explore further to gain a deeper understanding of the average height for women and the factors that contribute to this variation.
How has the average height changed for women?
In fact, the average height of women in the U.S. has some differences by ethnicity.
- Non-Hispanic Black: 5 feet 4 inches (64 inches)
- Non-Hispanic White: 5 ft. 3.9 in. (63.9 in.)
- Hispanic: 5 ft. 2 in. (62 in.)
- Mexican American: 5 ft. 1.7 in. (61.7 in.)
- Non-Hispanic Asian: 5 ft. 1.5 in. (61.5 in.)
As mentioned above, height changes over time. In the early 1900s, women between the ages 20 to 29 had an average height of 62.4 inches. By 1960, it was reported that the average number had changed to 63.7 inches – almost two inches taller than 50 years before .
But at present, the average height for women in the U.S. is rising more slowly compared to folks in other high-income countries.
Why does the declining height rate happen?
Since the 1960s, the average height for women in the U.S. has increased very slightly. So, what affects this slower height rate?
Some say it is related to the quality of nutrition in infancy and childhood or maybe selecting lower quality foods brings bad effects on height growth . Also, immigration influences changes in height over time in a certain region as people from areas with lower stature enter the population .
But how about the average height for women worldwide? Is it similar to American women? Let’s check it out!
What is the average female height worldwide?
Growth rates have not slowed in all parts of the world. The tallest and shortest women in the world change in height by around eight inches. On average, Dutch women are the tallest at about 5 feet 7 inches, while women in Guatemala are the shortest at just under 4 feet 11 inches.
Let’s take a look at other countries!
|The Netherlands||5 ft. 7 in. (170.36 cm)|
|Estonia||5 ft. 6 in. (168.88 cm)|
|Latvia||5 ft 6 in. (168.81 cm)|
|Poland||5 ft. 5 in. (165.78 cm)|
|United Kingdom||5 ft. 4.7 in. (164.4 cm)|
|China||5 ft. 2.9 in (159.7 cm)|
|North Korea||5 ft. 2.6 in. (159 cm)|
|Mexico||5 ft 1.8 in. (156.9 cm)|
|South Asia||5 ft 0.4 in. (153.3 cm)|
|Guatemala||4 ft. 11 in. (149 cm)|
What factors affect height in women?
Genes or DNA
This plays a vital role in how tall you are. Scientists estimate that your genes are around 60 to 80 percent of height difference. Also, they have found up to 700 ways that genes affect your height. Basically, when two tall people get it on, they will probably give birth to another tall baby. And the same goes for short parents.
Some genetic conditions influence height and other developmental factors. For instance, if a woman is suffering from Turner syndrome, she will get a below-average height.
Our body produces hormones to guide the growth plates to make new bones. These include human growth hormones, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones.
- Human growth hormones are made in the pituitary gland and are the most crucial hormone for growth. But some health issues might restrict the amount of HGH in the body and influence height. Children with inborn growth hormone shortcoming will grow slower than other children.
- Thyroid glands make hormones that affect height growth.
- Estrogen is one of the most important sex hormones for girl’s growth during their puberty.
Men tend to be taller than women and continue growing for longer than women. On average, an adult man is about 5.5 inches taller than an adult woman. The average height for men in the U.S. is 69.1 inches tall, while the average height for women is 63.7 inches .
This difference can be related to chromosomes. Genetic variations on the X chromosomes are in charge of a range of variants between men and women, including height. Since women tend to own two X chromosomes, they tend to be shorter.
While about 60 to 80 percent of the height difference is determined by genetics, about 20 to 40 percent can be affected by environmental effects, mainly nutrition .
Having good nutrition during childhood is necessary to reach full height. It is suggested that children and young teens should consume a well-balanced and varied diet with plenty of fruit and veggies to make sure they can get all the essential vitamins and minerals. Also, adding protein and calcium-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and oranges to the diet is crucial for bone health and growth.
If you are pregnant, ensuring good nutrition is crucial for the bone growth and health of the fetus. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, including beans, nuts, green and orange vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and pasteurized dairy products.
During deep sleep, our body releases the hormones it needs to grow. Also, sleep promotes growth in kids and teens. Make sure a child gets about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night for optimal growth and development.
Regular exercise is necessary for normal physical growth because it stimulates the production of growth hormones. Also, it helps stretch the body and promote the structure of the legs and spine, making you grow as much as possible. Importantly, taking part in sports and playing outside allows your body to absorb vitamin D which is necessary for bone health and growth.
Location influences your height because it determines whether you have access to particular nutrients and resources. Below are some important location-based factors, including:
- Clean water
- Local climate
- General sanitation
- Available food
- Access to childhood vaccinations
- Available good healthcare when you were a kid or when you were pregnant.
Having a caring home is necessary for normal growth during pre-adolescent years, especially for girls. The truth is that childhood trauma and negative experiences affect them emotionally, physically, and mentally. And if they live in a place that is not nurturing, they are likely to come across illness, which might influence growth.
In a word
Knowing the average height of women is a way to check general health and living conditions for a population. However, it is not the only factor. Also, good nutrition and a supportive living environment in pregnancy and childhood can give a kid the best chance of attaining her optimal height.
- Related post: Does Losing Weight Make You Taller?