Tall women? Latvia. The Netherlands and Latvia lead world for people’s height.
That’s the word from researchers who analyzed a century’s worth of height data from 200 countries. Results of the study “A century of trends in adult human height” were released Monday July 26, 2016 in the journal eLife.
National height averages
According to Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London, who led the research, national height averages are useful as an indicator of nutrition, health care, environment and general health that people have experienced from the womb through adolescence. Genes also influence height. Being taller is associated with enhanced longevity, and higher education and earnings.
The researchers calculated average height for 18 year olds, approximatively the age when people stop growing. They drew on more than 1,400 studies that covered more than 18.6 million adults who reached that age between 1914 and 2014.
The tallest men in the analysis were Dutch, with an average height of about 182.5 centimeters. The following nine tallest countries in order for men were: Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Iceland and the Czech Republic.
Latvia topped the list for women, with an average height 170 centimeters. The next in the top 10 were in order: the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Denmark, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
Most Western countries, including the Netherlands, also have hit a record, researchers said.
The shortest men were women born in Guatemala in 1896 (140.3 cm; 135.8–144.8). The height differential between the tallest and shortest populations was 19-20 cm a century ago, and has remained the same for women and increased for men a century later despite substantial changes in the ranking of countries.