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How we establish average height
The study of measurement of the human body, such as weight, standing height, and skinfold thickness, is called anthropometry. Anthropo comes from the Greek word meaning “human.” Metry comes from the word “metron,” which means “measure.”
Scientists use these measurements for nutrition assessment and to come up with averages and trends in human growth. Designers can even use anthropometric data to create more ergonomic spaces, furniture, and assistive devices.
The data is also used in national growth chartsTrusted Source and to help track changes to disease risk or body composition that might be expected over a person’s lifespan.
That’s why we know what we do about height. Next up are the numbers illustrating the average height for men.
Average height for men in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, the average age-adjusted height for American men 20 years old and up is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters). That’s about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
This number comes from data published in December 2018. The data was collected between 1999 and 2016 as part of a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The analytic sample included 47,233 Trusted Source men and women, all at least 20 years of age. Participants reported their ages, races, and whether they were of Hispanic origin. The average height of 5 feet 9 inches takes all groups into account.
How does that measurement compare to other countries? Let’s take a look.
Average height for men internationally
As you can imagine, the range of average heights across the world is quite broad.
A 2016 study showed that Iranian men have seen the biggest change in height over the last century, gaining about 6.7 inches (17 centimeters).
The researchers are a part of a global group of health scientists known as the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. They explained that both biological factors (such as genetic predisposition) and socioeconomic factors (such as access to quality foods) can affect the range in heights.
Average heights for men in 15 countries
The table below includes 2016 data from the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. It shows average heights for men born between 1918 and 1996, and it’s based on an analysis of hundreds of population-based studies.
|The Netherlands||5 ft 11.9 in (182.5 cm)|
|Germany||5 ft 10.8 in (179.9 cm)|
|Australia||5 ft 10.6 in (179.2 cm)|
|Canada||5 ft 10.1 in (178.1 cm)|
|United Kingdom||5 ft 9.9 in (177.5 cm)|
|Jamaica||5 ft 8.7 in (174.5 cm)|
|Brazil||5 ft 8.3 in (173.6 cm)|
|Iran||5 ft 8.3 in (173.6 cm)|
|China||5 ft 7.6 in (171.8 cm)|
|Japan||5 ft 7.2 in (170.8 cm)|
|Mexico||5 ft 6.5 in (169 cm)|
|Nigeria||5 ft 5.3 in (165.9 cm)|
|Peru||5 ft 5 in (165.2 cm)|
|India||5 ft 4.9 in (164.9 cm)|
|The Philippines||5 ft 4.25 in (163.2 cm)|
There are no international standards with regard to measuring and reporting height.
Some discrepancies may be attributed to self-reporting versus controlled measuring or to the ages of individuals who are recorded. Discrepancies may also be the result of:
the percentage of the population measured
the year the measurements were taken
data being averaged over time