Revealed: The Average Height of American People

by   |   Feb 16, 2023
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That said, Americans always pride themselves on standing tall, like gaining unreachable achievements, rising to the challenge, boosting the bar of social success, and more. In U.S. history, Americans were the tallest people in the world. But now, everything has changed.

What happened? And what is the average height of American people today?

The article below will help you find the truth.

What is the average height of American men and women?

The mean height in the U.S. is 5 feet 9 inches (175.26 cm) for men and 5 feet 4 inches (162.56 cm) for women.

Average height by states

The tallest adult men in America mainly live in Alabama and Iowa, while the tallest women live in South Dakota. And the state with the shortest average height among men and women is Hawaii.

What makes this difference?

Race is the key factor. Non-Hispanic white and black people tend to be remarkably taller than Non-Hispanic Asian or Hispanic people. California, New York, and Hawaii are the states that have large Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian populations. Meanwhile, most of the population in Alabama is non-Hispanic white and black [1].


Are Americans getting taller or shorter?

Between 1999 and 2016, the average BMI, weight, and waist circumference increased. But the results for the average height showed no remarkable increase. Most demographic groups pointed out no change in the average height, while some even showed a slight drop [2].

Although data collected in the early 20th century showed that the average height of American people grew about an inch and a half, this number has stabilized for years.

Also, the mean height of Americans is not quite as tall as the rest of the world. A century ago, American males ranked as the third tallest in the world. But now, they stand as the 47th. Similarly, American females had ranked as the fourth-tallest in the world, but now they place the 58th.

What happened to Americans?

Americans seem to grow less during babyhood and late adolescence than their counterparts in North European. And this shows a comparative weakness in the pre and post-natal care and the diets of American children. Some researchers reckon that the “crowding out” of vegetables and fruits by American snack foods plays a vital role in the sluggishness of height [3].

The rapid increase of fast food restaurants and changing eating habits have made about 25% of Americans obese. And this explained why the mean height of the American people has decreased.

Another reason for the U.S.’s drop in the global ranking is immigration. There is an increasing number of Mexican-Americans, and that group tends to be a bit shorter.

The gap between rich and poor in some states also affects height growth. Although people in the malnourished areas in South America continued growing, they still remained shorter than most Americans because they grew less during childhood.

Which countries are getting a lot taller than the U.S.?

The countries with the tallest men and women are found in Europe. The tallest men in the world live in the Netherlands with a mean height of 5 feet 11.9 inches (182.5 cm). Women from Latvia have an average height of 5 feet 6.9 inches (170 cm) [4].

Below are the top 10 tallest populations (men and women) by country:

Rank Country The average height
1 Bosnia & Herzegovina 6 feet 0.5 inches (183.9 cm)
2 The Netherlands 6 feet 0.5 inches (183.9 cm)
3 Montenegro 6 feet (183.2 cm)
4 Denmark 6 feet (182.6 cm)
5 Norway 5 feet 11.75 inches (182.4 cm)
6 Serbia 5 feet 11.5 inches (182 cm)
7 Iceland 5 feet 11.5 inches (182 cm)
8 Germany 5 feet 11.25 inches (181 cm)
9 Croatia 5 feet 11 inches (180.5 cm)
10 The Czech Republic 5 feet 11 inches (180.3 cm)

How to improve height effectively in the U.S.?

Build a scientific diet

A key factor that contributes to the height difference is the variation in nutritional demands. You need to build a scientific diet with the necessary nutrients to improve height.

  • Calcium in milk, dark green leafy veggies, soybeans, sardines, orange juice, and Brussel sprouts.
  • Protein in meat, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, and legumes.
  • Vitamin D in whole grains, salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
  • Zinc in eggs, peanuts, chocolate, asparagus, etc.

It is suggested to have five meals a day, with 3 main meals and 2 healthy snacks. Also, avoid eating greasy foods, fast foods, and sweets because they might create nutritional imbalances and then lead to many diseases that could affect height.

Stay active

Most Americans love playing basketball. And do you know this exercise is an excellent way to improve height?

Basketball requires you to run, jump, stoop, and stretch all the time. And these movements help to strengthen bones as well as increase growth hormone production that is necessary for height growth.


Attach the special importance to sleep

You should not overlook sleep if you want to grow taller. It is recommended to sleep at least 8 hours every night to get all benefits. A good night’s sleep allows the body to secrete more growth hormones. Also, it gives you more energy and a better focus for activities when you wake up.

Be happy and positive

Maintaining a happy and positive state of mind may positively stimulate the endocrine glands. But how to be happy and positive like most Americans?

  • Stick to the timetable and do the work.
  • Meet friends.
  • Engage in physical activities.
  • Share your feelings with family or friends when you are experiencing a hard time or need support.

Use height-increasing supplements

That said, Americans love to use height-increasing products to give the best possible nutrition to their body. Importantly, these supplements are researched by top experts and are manufactured via modern technology.

There are some popular products most used by Americans today to improve height. Click here if you are interested.

Wrapping up

Compared to a century ago, the average height of American people has increased, though this number has not been growing in the last decades. There are many causes, but there is a shortcut; that is, look and see whether most parents have to take care of their children. That is the important thing.

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