Men’s Height: What is the Average?
The average male height has increased over the past hundred years. This is largely due to better nutrition. Even so, other factors can also play a role in determining a man’s height.
Average height is calculated and tracked through key statistics collected by national health authorities. These organs begin to collect standing height at the age of two years, measuring individuals to the nearest 0.1 cm using a digital stadiometer.
Stadiometer is a height measuring device that has a vertical ruler and a horizontal slider or bar placed on top of the head.
Average height for men in the United States
The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the average height of an adult male is 69.1 inches (175.4 cm), or about 5 feet 9 inches. This data was compiled as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted between 1999 and 2016.
Remember that the mean means that half of the adult male population will be taller and half will be shorter. Like skin and eye color, height isn’t something you can change — it’s just camouflage. Learn more about trends for adult men and what to expect as a boy grows up.
How has average height changed for men?
Measurements of body mass index, weight, height and even head circumference have been collected in the US since the late 1950s. Men have grown taller and taller in that short span of several decades. .
Body mass index (BMI) is a biased, dated measure that doesn’t take into account several factors, such as body composition, ethnicity, race, gender, and age.
Although a flawed measure, BMI is widely used today in the medical community as it is an inexpensive and rapid method for analyzing potential health conditions and outcomes.
One of the earliest reports said that “men in the general population were on average 68.2 inches tall”, an inch lower than currently expected. Before this time, there were historical glimpses showing that the average height had steadily increased over the past 400 years.
Historic Male Plateau in the United States
- Men in the original Massachusetts colony of Pilgrim are said to have averaged about 66 inches (1620) in height.
- Civil War soldiers are reported to have an average height of 67.7 inches (1863).
- US soldiers average 67.5 inches tall (1917)
- US Army recruits average 68.1 inches (1943) tall.
- The average adult male was 69.3 inches in 2010.
This probably doesn’t mean that men will continue to get taller over time. Despite evidence of growth, archaeological examination of skeletons from the Paleolithic period shows a man’s height to be about 168 cm, or about 5 feet 5 inches. That means just four inches in 10,000 years.
As for the recent growth in height, it is believed that better health and nutrition play an important role in this growth process. Today, there are effective ways to prevent illness and promote health during a child’s formative years.
There are ways to delay degeneration as a person ages, preventing the deterioration of bones and muscles that can lead to loss of height. Therefore, most experts believe that the potential for height may have reached its maximum.
Average height for men worldwide
When compared with men in other parts of the world, American men are in a much better position than the national average.
In some countries, like the Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the average height is just over 6 feet. In parts of Asia – especially Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines) – the average falls around 5 feet 4 inches or less.
Meanwhile, the tallest men generally appear to be from the Nilotic people of Sudan, where the average height is 6 feet 3 inches. Here are some average male heights in different countries, ranked from tallest to lowest.
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Average height for boys
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares the average height of boys 20 years old and younger. According to the data, a 6-year-old in the 50th percentile in height is about 44 inches, or just under 4 feet. At age 12, the average height of a boy in the 50th percentile is 58 inches, or just under 5 feet.
While genetics play a big role in determining how tall a boy will eventually be, there are no guarantees. A tall father can give birth to a shorter son or vice versa. Furthermore, some children outgrow others during their developmental years.
In the end, there is no one stereotype and a few things that can be done to increase the height of a boy. While predicting a boy’s height isn’t always easy, there are some general standards that you can follow.
Developmental benchmarks in boys:
- Boys between the ages of 2 and 9 will average 34 inches at the start and average 50 inches by the end of the ninth year.
- Boys 10 to 14 years old will grow from 55 inches to 65 inches during this period.
- Boys between the ages of 15 and 18 will grow from 68 inches to 70 inches and continue to grow incrementally over the next few years.
Factors that affect height
Many factors can influence or influence a man’s height. Here are a few to consider.
- Genetics: An analysis of 45 studies of different twins has found that a child’s genes can affect their height, and this effect increases as they get older, often peaking around 14 years in boys.
- Nutrition: The nutritional intake of men’s diets, especially during the first years of their lives, has been found to contribute to the potential for growth in height. Some studies have even found that specific nutrients are also important, such as the one that connects height gain with eating high-quality proteins.
- Sick: Research indicates that illness or disease that affects food intake or absorption can also affect height. This includes infections that cause diarrhea, respiratory infections, and even fever in children.
- Geographical factors: Where a child grows up can also contribute to how tall they are. For example, one study noted that shorter daylight hours increased thyroid hormone, thereby increasing height, while longer sun exposure during the day contributed to increased height.
A very good word
If you are concerned that your son is not meeting developmental standards, talk to your pediatrician. If a boy is below the benchmark, it doesn’t mean he’s too short, needs growth hormone, or isn’t growing as he should.
You can track your son’s development using a growth chart or percentage calculator. Both can provide healthy guidance in conjunction with routine medical visits.
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