What Country Has The Shortest Height In The World?

by   |   Apr 19, 2024

Human height is a captivating phenomenon that varies greatly across cultures and regions. From towering individuals who seem to touch the sky to those of modest stature, our global population displays a mesmerizing spectrum of heights. Each nation holds its own narrative, a tapestry woven by the intricate interplay of genetics, environment, and cultural influences. This article invites you to embark on a journey, unraveling the intriguing secrets behind the diversity of human heights around the world. Prepare to delve into a realm where every inch tells a story, unveiling the complex factors that shape our physical statures and the fascinating tales they hold.

Top 10 countries with the shortest height

According to the 2019 Height and Body Mass Survey by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the following are the top 10 countries with the shortest average height for adult males and females combined:

  1. Timor-Leste: 5 feet 2 inches (157.7 cm)
  2. Yemen: 5 feet 2.4 inches (158.4 cm)
  3. Laos: 5 feet 2.6 inches (158.9 cm)
  4. Madagascar: 5 feet 2.6 inches (159.2 cm)
  5. Malawi: 5 feet 2.7 inches (159.4 cm)
  6. Nepal: 5 feet 3 inches (160.0 cm)
  7. Rwanda: 5 feet 3 inches (160.4 cm)
  8. Uganda: 5 feet 3.2 inches (160.6 cm)
  9. Burkina Faso: 5 feet 3.3 inches (160.8 cm)
  10. Papua New Guinea: 5 feet 3.3 inches (160.8 cm)

What country has the shortest height in the world?

Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a country located in Southeast Asia, occupying the eastern half of the island of Timor. This country currently has the shortest height in the world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average height for adult males in Timor-Leste is around 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm), and for adult females is around 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm). It is important to note that these are just averages, and individual heights can vary depending on a range of factors.


How small is Timor-Leste?

Timor-Leste is a relatively small country in terms of both land area and population. It has an area of approximately 5,760 square miles (or 14,919 square kilometers). As of 2021, it has an estimated population of around 1.3 million people, which also makes it one of the least populous countries in the region. However, despite its small size, Timor-Leste is home to a diverse range of cultures and languages and has a rich history and natural beauty that make it an important part of the global community.

Why are people in Timor-Leste so short?

There is no definitive answer to this question, but some studies suggest that the population’s short stature in Timor-Leste is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The limited availability and access to nutrient-rich foods, as well as high rates of malnutrition and infectious diseases, can contribute to stunted growth. Additionally, genetic factors may play a role, as shorter stature is common among populations in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

What is the history of Timor-Leste?

The history of Timor-Leste is a captivating tapestry of resilience and struggle, spanning millennia and marked by a complex interplay of indigenous cultures and colonial powers. This enchanting land in Southeast Asia, situated on the eastern half of the island of Timor, bears witness to a turbulent past that has shaped its identity.

Long before European explorers set foot on its shores in the 16th century, Timor-Leste was a cradle of diverse indigenous groups whose roots stretched back thousands of years. However, with the arrival of European colonial powers, the region’s fate took a new turn. The Dutch, Portuguese, and British established colonies and trading posts, weaving their influence into the fabric of Timor-Leste’s history.

The darkest chapter unfolded during World War II when Japanese forces occupied Timor-Leste. Their presence left scars of war crimes and atrocities etched in the collective memory of the local population. After the war, Portuguese control was reasserted but faced mounting pressure from nationalist and independence movements.

In 1975, Timor-Leste seized the opportunity to declare its independence from Portugal, only to be swiftly invaded and occupied by neighboring Indonesia. For over a quarter of a century, this period of Indonesian rule was characterized by pervasive violence, human rights violations, and the ruthless suppression of dissent.

The turning point came in 1999 when, under the auspices of the United Nations, the people of Timor-Leste participated in a historic referendum, emphatically choosing independence. Following a transitional period and international intervention, Timor-Leste proudly proclaimed its sovereignty in 2002.

In the wake of independence, Timor-Leste embarked on a challenging journey of rebuilding its infrastructure and institutions, while grappling with persistent political and social issues. Nevertheless, the nation has made remarkable strides in areas like economic development, social welfare, and human rights.

As Timor-Leste continues to shape its destiny, its history serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of its people and their unwavering commitment to a brighter future. This tale of resilience and determination reminds us that the pursuit of liberty and self-determination is a journey worth undertaking, no matter the obstacles encountered along the way.

What is the culture of Timor-Leste like?

The cultural tapestry of Timor-Leste weaves together a captivating mosaic, drawing from a rich palette of Austronesian, Melanesian, and Portuguese influences. It is a tapestry where threads of community, tradition, and ancestral reverence are intricately intertwined.

At the heart of Timorese culture lie the rhythms of music and the grace of dance. Traditional songs and dances continue to flourish, gracing community gatherings and festivals with their vibrant presence. Art and craftsmanship also find profound appreciation here, with weaving and woodcarving carrying the weight of symbolic motifs and intricate designs.

Religion holds a significant place in Timorese life, where a synthesis of Catholicism and traditional animist beliefs takes root. The annual calendar is punctuated by religious festivals and ceremonies, marked by lively processions, the melodies of traditional music and dance, and the joyous feasts that follow.

Food, a universal language of culture, offers a delectable glimpse into Timorese identity. Culinary traditions blend elements of Southeast Asian, Portuguese, and indigenous cuisine, resulting in dishes that celebrate grilled fish, aromatic rice creations, and hearty stews teeming with vegetables, spices, and meat or fish.

In essence, Timor-Leste’s culture is a tapestry of togetherness, where the threads of tradition are lovingly woven, and nature is held in profound reverence


What is the economy of Timor-Leste based on?

The economy of Timor-Leste is primarily based on oil and gas exports. In fact, the country is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues, which make up the majority of its income. Other sectors of the economy include agriculture, fisheries, and tourism, although they are not as developed as the oil and gas sector. The government of Timor-Leste has been trying to diversify the economy. They want to promote sustainable development. However, progress has been slow. This is because they face many challenges. Some of these challenges include a lack of infrastructure and human capital. Additionally, they have limited access to international markets.

How can people in Timor-Leste grow taller?

Several factors contribute to a person’s height, including genetics, nutrition, and environment. While genetics cannot be changed, improving nutrition and overall living conditions can have a positive impact on height.

In Timor-Leste, improving access to nutritious food and healthcare, as well as promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, can help support better growth and development. Additionally, addressing poverty and improving economic opportunities can lead to better living conditions and ultimately better health outcomes, including height.

In conclusion, 

Despite confronting a multitude of formidable obstacles, such as economic hardships and healthcare disparities, the resilient people of Timor-Leste possess a vibrant and distinctive cultural heritage that endures and flourishes. As this nation forges ahead on its path of progress and modernization, concerted initiatives aimed at enhancing nutritional standards and healthcare accessibility hold the promise of not only elevating the well-being of its citizens but also potentially contributing to the physical stature of future generations.

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