What’s the average height for a boy?

by   |   Feb 21, 2021

Parents are always concerned about their children’s growth in terms of height and weight. For boys, it’s quite fascinating to see their development change dramatically when they hit their growth spurts. From infancy to toddlers to young adults, many parents wonder whether their boys are growing well at their age and what the average boy height is accordingly. It is important to understand that these figures and growing stages will help us realize the progress of our children’s healthy growth. Additionally, there are attributes and tips for parents to enhance the possibilities for their boys to grow tall and strong.

Average Height of Boys

While it’s not easy to predict a boy’s height, parents can look at a few benchmarks for reference: [1]

  • Boys aged 2 – 9 years old have an average of 34 inches at the onset and reach an average 50 inches by the end of 9.
  • Boys aged 10 – 14 years old will grow around 55 – 65 inches during this period.
  • Boys aged 15 – 18 years old will grow around 68 – 70 inches and continue gradually for a few years later, varying by different people.

The average boy height for different ages has been listed in the list below by CDC (2000): [2]

Age (years)

50th percentile height for boys (inches and centimeters)

8 50.4 in. (128 cm)
9 52.6 in. (133.5 cm)
10 54.5 in. (138.5 cm)
11 56.4 in. (143.5 cm)
12 58.7 in. (149 cm)
13 61.4 in. (156 cm)
14 64.6 in. (164 cm)
15 66.9 in. (170 cm)
16 68.3 in. (173.5 cm)
17 69.1 in. (175.5 cm)
18 69.3 in. (176 cm)

It is important to note that boys who are under or above this average boy height are not unusually short or tall because individuals are different. Parents should pay more attention to the progression of growth rather than figures only.

In addition, the average boy height varies across different regions and countries around the world [3]. All the measurements show the differences. The average boy height in European countries like the Netherlands and Denmark belonged to the highest, while the shortest figures were found in South East Asia, Latin America and East Africa. For instance, the Netherlands had the tallest average boy height for 19-year-old boys with just over 6 feet. On the other hand, East Timor had the shortest with 5 feet 2 inches, significantly 8-inch differences.

In the US, the average height for an adult man is around 5 feet 9 inches (69.1 inches) or 175.4 cm, this figure falls almost in the middle of national averages.

average boy height

What determines the height of boys?

It is undeniable that genetics play the major role in deciding one’s height. Children inherit the genes from their parents and family; but different combinations of genes can lead to varying heights of people, even people from the same family. 

However, genetics is not the sole factor that determines one’s height but there are other attributes found by research and studies. Nutrition, especially in adolescence and teenage stages, plays a critical role for children to grow taller and healthier. Proper nutrition can come from a well-balanced diet that has various nutrients with proteins, fruits, vegetables and so on. Sufficient sleep and healthy living environment are other determinants that can impact on children’s proper growth. Regular exercises are also important to support their body development.

Puberty and its effects on average boy height

The growth of your children will be mainly decided by their puberty. Puberty is the process of growth that the body of boys and girls will change accordingly to become adults. When boys start their pubertal stage, they will go through significant growth spurts that they usually surpass girls in similar ages pretty fast in terms of height and bodybuilding. Puberty onset and the length of puberty will be different for individuals that can start at any age along 8 – 14 years old. The average age for boys to start their first signs is around 12 years old, which is later than girls for about a year.

The rate of growth will be varied according to when the pubertal stage starts. The fastest growth rate will happen in around 1 – 2 years after the start. On average, boys will grow around 3 inches (or 7.6 cm) per year during their puberty [2]. It can be confusing for parents to see their boys start this period differently. However, the starting age will not affect how tall they are eventually but only the time they stop their puberty. Boys can usually be categorized as follows:

  • The early maturers start the pubertal stage at around 11 – 12 years old.
  • The late maturers start their pubertal stage at around 13 – 14 years old.

Both early and late maturers will grow the same average amount in height and somehow the late maturers will grow faster to make up for their late starting point. Therefore, it’s important to understand that individuals vary so your boys do not have to worry too much if they start puberty a bit sooner or later than their friends. Normally it will take 2 – 5 years for boys to develop into adults and they will reach about 92% of their peak height during puberty. They tend to stop growing at age 16, but those who start late may keep growing taller near the end of puberty. Most boys will develop fully at the age of 18.

How to help your boys catch up with average boy height?

Although it is different for individuals, there are ways to ensure that your boys are growing healthily and keep up with the average boy height in order not to worry they are falling short or behind.

  • Having a well-balanced diet with various types of foods that provide sufficient nutrition for them to grow tall and strong. Parents should pay attention to make healthy foods that can support needed nutrients for height growth such as proteins, Calcium, vitamin D, etc. Sometimes it can be difficult for boys to eat all those foods, so taking supplements can be a good nutritional support for them to fully reach their potential height.
  • Sleeping enough hours, at least 8 hours daily can help boys increase height and maintain their health significantly. The growth hormone secretion during deep sleep will be enhanced to help them grow taller.
  • It is also essential for boys to stay active and exercise regularly to trigger bone growth, increase their health and enhance their body development fully.

Your boys may go beyond or fall behind the average boy height at times during their development stage. However, it is essential to understand that growing takes years and is different for everyone so do not worry too much. Parents should pay attention to provide their children sufficient nutrition, remind them to sleep at the right time and support them to play sports and exercises; thereby helping them grow tall and healthy, especially during puberty.

 

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.verywellfit.com/average-height-for-a-man-statistics-2632137

[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/when-do-boys-stop-growing#median-height

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/child-height-weight-average-world/2020/12/04/196d4c0e-34d0-11eb-8d38-6aea1adb3839_story.html

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