Revealed: The Average Height of Indian People

by   |   Nov 04, 2023
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Exploring the heights of a population can reveal fascinating insights into their overall health and development. In the case of the Indian population, this becomes even more intriguing, as height is often seen as a crucial indicator of physical well-being. Are Indians growing taller over time, or are they bucking global trends? This article aims to shed light on this captivating question and uncover the changing dynamics of average height among the Indian populace. Join us on this journey as we delve into the statistics and trends that tell the story of India’s stature on the world stage.

What is the average height of Indian men and women?

The determination of the average height among Indian men and women is a multifaceted task, influenced by a multitude of factors encompassing geographical location, ethnic heritage, and socioeconomic circumstances. Nonetheless, recent research endeavors have shed some light on this subject. On the whole, the average stature of Indian males is roughly 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm), while for Indian females, it tends to hover around 5 feet (152 cm). It is crucial to underscore the approximation inherent in these figures, as individual heights exhibit considerable diversity.

Are the Indians short or tall?

According to the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, Indian people are growing taller. The average height of women increased up to 2 inches from 1914 to 2014 and that of men by nearly 1 inch. But the height of Indians is at the slowest rate in the world. In terms of height in 1914, Indian men ranked 101 among 200 countries while Indian women ranked 163. But in 2019, Indian men ranked 180th, while Indian women gained 182nd [1].



A recent study published on Plos One, mentioning the average height of adults in India declined at an alarming rate [2].

The study collected data available in National Family Health Surveys (NFHS). There have been five surveys in total, including one in 1992-1993, the second in 1998-1999, the third in 2005-2006, the fourth in 2015-2016, and the fifth in 2019-2020. As compared to NFHS 2, both NFHS 3 and 4 got a sharp and troubling decline in the mean height of Indian people. It found that men and women in the age group between 15 and 24 had seen a dangerous drop in height over the years. While women’s average height saw a decrease of 0.16 inches (0.42 cm), men saw a drop of 0.43 inches (1.10 cm).

The report pointed out that the decline is not just because of genetics, but the lifestyle of adults in India is affecting the mean height of the adult population.

India has one of the highest malnutrition and undernutrition levels in the world. After post-independence in 1947, malnutrition might have increased, and the health of pregnant women might have been ignored, which could adversely affect the height of children.

How does nutrition impact the growth of one’s height?

In addition to genetic factors, it is essential to recognize that nutrition plays a pivotal role in influencing an individual’s stature. Put simply, the height of an individual is intricately linked to their dietary choices. In cases where children are deprived of adequate nutrition, a range of nutrient deficiencies may ensue, resulting in compromised or stunted growth, ultimately leading to a shorter stature compared to those who maintain a well-balanced diet.

Numerous nutrition experts assert that a child’s height during the first two years of life is predominantly shaped by the quality of nutrition they receive, a determinant that carries significant implications for their adult height. However, it is worth noting that certain individuals have managed to overcome childhood growth setbacks through their economic means.

Consequently, the initial step toward achieving optimal height potential is the adoption of a wholesome and balanced dietary regimen. During the crucial years of growth, the body necessitates an appropriate supply of various nutrients to facilitate proper development. This entails the consumption of foods rich in essential components such as protein, calcium, vitamins, and other vital nutrients.

Outlined below are some dietary items that should be incorporated into one’s daily nutrition plan to support height growth:

  • Milk: Milk provides a substantial amount of protein and micronutrients indispensable for maintaining bone health and fostering growth.
  • Salmon: This fish is replete with omega-3 fatty acids, which play a pivotal role in enhancing sleep quality and bone turnover, thereby contributing to improved height.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a rich source of vitamin D, protein, and various essential micronutrients that have been linked to height enhancement.
  • Beans: Beans are notable for their high protein and iron content, both of which are essential for comprehensive growth.
  • Leafy green vegetables: These vegetables serve as a valuable source of vitamin K, a nutrient crucial for bolstering bone health.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium, all of which aid in height improvement.
  • Berries: Berries are abundant in vitamin C, which offers numerous health benefits by stimulating cell growth, tissue repair, and collagen production.
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a dependable source of vitamin A, vital for fortifying bone health. Additionally, their high fiber content promotes nutrient absorption and supports digestive well-being.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa boasts beneficial substances, including protein and magnesium, which contribute to the enhancement of bone mineral density.

In summary, nutrition exerts a substantial influence on height growth, especially during the formative years. By prioritizing a diet rich in the aforementioned nutrients and food items, individuals can optimize their potential for achieving a healthier and taller stature.

What are other factors affecting height?


Genes are the key factor determining a person’s height. There are over 700 different genes that affect height. While some might be responsible for growth hormone production, others affect the growth plates [3].


One intriguing aspect of human growth is the gender-related disparities that manifest over time. On average, men tend to attain greater stature compared to women.

For women, a notable growth spurt typically occurs around the age of 12.5 years, coinciding with the onset of their menstrual cycle. However, after this initial surge in height, their growth rate tapers off.

In contrast, men experience a growth spurt roughly two years later than their female counterparts. What sets men apart is that their growth may persist beyond this stage, allowing them to surpass women in height as they continue to mature.

Gender and age

The truth is that men tend to be taller than women.

Women basically experience a growth spurt at the age of around 12.5 years, but then their height will subside after the beginning of their menstrual cycle. Although men have a growth spurt about 2 years after their female counterparts, they might continue to get taller than women.



Consistently failing to get an adequate amount of sleep may not pose an immediate threat to one’s height, but it can have a long-term impact on a person’s maximum height potential. Children, in particular, are vulnerable to impaired growth when they experience sleep deficiency, as their bodies are still in the crucial stages of development. Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to a reduction in the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which can potentially hinder both bone and muscle growth, as well as impede the body’s ability to recover effectively.


Maintaining a daily regimen of physical activity offers numerous benefits, including the preservation of a healthy weight, the strengthening of muscles and bones, and the stimulation of HGH production. Engaging in regular exercise during one’s formative years can also contribute positively to achieving one’s maximum height potential later in life. Therefore, it is advisable to encourage individuals, especially children, to prioritize a variety of exercises, encompassing strength-building routines, aerobic activities, and stretching exercises.


Consistently adopting a slouched posture can lead to the gradual adaptation of your body’s curves, resulting in the appearance of being shorter than your actual height. Furthermore, this can lead to discomfort and pain in the back and neck regions. Therefore, it is essential to practice good posture consistently while standing, sitting, and walking. If you are unsure about maintaining proper posture, seeking advice from a medical professional or a healthcare provider can be beneficial.

In summary

The significant growth in height among the Indians over a century has not helped them in the global rankings because they are still one of the shortest people by nationality. That said, the average height is a reflection of the prevailing malnourishment and poor economic development in the country.

Besides, you might notice many important factors affecting height, except genetics. And for further information, you should read other articles on our website to know solutions that might help you improve height naturally yet effectively.


Q: Does the average height of Indian men and women vary across regions?

A: Yes, the average height of Indian men and women can vary across different regions within India. Factors such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, and socioeconomic factors can contribute to these regional variations in height.

Q: How does the average height of Indian men and women compare to the global average?

A: The average height of Indian men and women is generally lower compared to the global average. This can be attributed to various factors, including genetic diversity, nutrition, and socioeconomic conditions. However, it’s important to remember that height can vary widely among individuals, and these averages are meant to provide a general idea.

Q: Can the average height of Indian men and women change over time?

A: Yes, average height can change over time due to several factors, including improvements in healthcare, nutrition, living conditions, and overall development. It’s possible that the average height of Indian men and women may gradually change in the future, influenced by these factors.

Q: Are there any other factors that can influence the height of Indian men and women?

A: Apart from genetics, factors such as nutrition, access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, and overall living conditions can have an impact on the height of individuals. A well-balanced diet, adequate healthcare, and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to optimal growth and development.


Joy Bauer is a renowned physician and nutrition expert who has dedicated her career to helping people live healthier, happier lives. With over two decades of experience in the field of health and wellness, Dr. Bauer has become one of the most trusted voices in the industry.
About This Researcher
One of Dr. Bauer’s areas of expertise is in the field of height growth. She has worked with countless patients over the years who were looking to increase their height naturally, and has developed a range of effective strategies and techniques to help them achieve their goals.

Dr. Bauer believes that a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for optimal growth and development. She works closely with her patients to develop personalized nutrition plans that are tailored to their unique needs and goals. These plans include a variety of nutrient-dense foods and supplements that are designed to support healthy bone growth and development.

In addition to her work in height growth, Dr. Bauer is also a leading expert in the areas of weight loss, disease prevention, and overall wellness. She is a regular contributor to a number of popular media outlets, including The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and Good Morning America.

If you’re looking for a physician who is passionate about helping you live your best life, look no further than Dr. Joy Bauer. With her expertise, compassion, and commitment to excellence, she is the ideal partner for anyone who is looking to achieve their health and wellness goals.

The reason behind the creation of the website HowToGrowTaller is to provide effective guidance and support to individuals who are looking to increase their height naturally. Dr. Joy Bauer recognized that many people feel self-conscious or insecure about their height, and that there is a great deal of misinformation out there about how to grow taller.

With HowToGrowTaller, Dr. Bauer wanted to create a comprehensive resource that would provide individuals with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to achieve their height goals. The website includes a wide range of resources, including nutrition plans, exercise routines, and other proven strategies that are designed to support healthy growth and development.

One of the key benefits of HowToGrowTaller is that it is a one-stop-shop for all things related to height growth. Instead of spending countless hours researching different strategies and techniques, individuals can turn to the website to access everything they need in one convenient location.

Overall, the goal of HowToGrowTaller is to help individuals feel more confident and empowered in their bodies. By providing them with the resources and support they need to grow taller naturally, Dr. Bauer hopes to help people achieve their height goals and improve their overall quality of life.

Researcher Locations:

33 Whitehall Street, New York

Education & Training
Pediatric Psychology – Nemours Childrens Clinic – Jacksonville, 2003

Child Psychology – University of Florida, 2002

Board Certifications
American Board of Professional Psychology

Areas of Research


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