The Average Height For Men USA

The average height for men worldwide and in the U.S. has increased over the past hundreds of years. That means individuals are growing taller compared to previous generations. This increase can be influenced by various factors, including improvements in nutrition, healthcare, living conditions, and overall standards of living.

The average height for men has increased over the past 100 years, mainly due to better nutrition. Of course, the United States is no exception. Let’s check out interesting information related to their average height in the article below!

The average height for men USA

69.1 inches or 5 feet 9 inches (175.4 centimeters) is the average height for an adult male in America. It is based on a 2016 survey published by the CDC [1]. However, this number is just “average.” That means roughly half of American men will be taller than 69.1 inches and about 50% will be shorter than 69.1 inches. In sum, it is a way to measure the overall height of a population.

The table below will give you a clear look at the decrease in the average height for males in the U.S. from ages 20 to 80 by nearly 1.18 inches (3 centimeters) [2].

Age

Height (inches)

Height (centimeters)

20 – 29

69.2

175.7

30 – 49

69.4

176.2

50 – 59

69.0

175.2

60 – 69

68.7

174.4

70 – 79 

68.1

172.9

80 and over

67.1

170.3

We all know that our height is primarily determined by our genetics, with studies suggesting that up to 60 – 80%. That’s why height by race can vary to some extent due to some of the genes identified to influence height. Here is what the research found for various racial demographics in American males.

  • Average non-Hispanic white male height: 5 feet 9.8 inches (177 centimeters)
  • Average Hispanic male height: 5 feet 6.7 inches (169 centimeters)
  • Average Black male height: 5 feet 9.1 inches (176 centimeters)
  • Average Asian male height: 5 feet 6.8 inches (170 centimeters)
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The average height for men worldwide

On average, American males are slightly taller than the average male in the world, which sits at 5 feet 7.5 inches (171 centimeters).

The nation with the highest average male height is the Netherlands, slightly over 6 feet tall (183 centimeters). Meanwhile, Southeast Asian countries and Guatemala are among the shortest, measuring about 5 feet 4 inches (163 centimeters) or even shorter.

Below are the average heights for men from some of the countries.

Country

Height (inches)

Height (centimeters)

Denmark

71.65

182

Slovenia

71.26

181

Sweden

70.87

180

Greece

70.47

179

Australia

70.47

179

Canada

70.08

178

France

70.08

178

Romania

69.69

177

Hungary

69.29

176

South Korea

68.90

175

Hong Kong

68.50

174

Taiwan

68.11

173

Japan

67.72

172

How has the average height changed over time?

Since the late 1950s, the United States has collected height, weight, BMI, and head circumference measurements. And the fact has proven that men in the U.S. have been getting taller in that short span of a few decades. Let’s take a historical glimpse at how tall they have risen slowly over the last 400 years.

  • In 1620, men in the Pilgrim’s early Massachusetts colony measured about 66 inches (167.6 centimeters).
  • In 1863, soldiers who joined the Civil War measured 67.7 inches (172 centimeters).
  • In 1917, United States soldiers measured 67.5 inches (171.4 centimeters)
  • In 1943, United States Army recruits measured 68.1 inches (173 centimeters).

As you can see, American men are taller than their ancestors.

Of course, other countries have noticed similar or even more extreme trends. A 2016 study showed that men in Iran had grown around 6.7 inches (17.02 centimeters) in the previous 100 years. Researchers also indicated that this is the largest height gain in the world [3].

One of the biggest theories as to why male height has remarkably changed is that advanced technologies and updated lifestyles have resulted in better nutrition. However, this does not mean humans will keep growing taller due to access to substantial nutrients because researchers show that better nutrition does not necessarily add height. Nutrition is a way that gives us the ability to attain our full height potential and pass on any tall genes [4].

Which factors determine height?

Genetics

An analysis of 180,520 pairs at ages 1 to 19 pointed out that a person’s genes can influence height. And this impact increases as they get older, generally speaking at around 14 years of age in boys [5]. That means you are likely to be short if your parents are short and you do not have underlying health conditions affecting your growth. 

But this is not the only factor.

Nutrition

Everyone needs nutrients from food to grow and reach their height potential, especially for children and adolescents. If they experience malnutrition, they might have stunted growth. This even affects their height in adulthood [6].

For instance, a 2016 study found that men from 105 countries who consumed more high-quality animal protein were taller. It also noted that men in central and northern Europe consumed the most animal proteins, including dairy. Meanwhile, men in East Asia consumed more rice [7].

Medical conditions

If a child gets certain chronic disorders, they cannot grow well. Because these conditions make it hard to absorb nutrients from foods or affect their joints or bone structure, stunting their growth.

Below are some medical conditions related to decreased nutrient absorption and shorter heights.

  • Anemia (causes low levels of red blood cells)
  • Cystic fibrosis (affects digestion)
  • Chronic renal insufficiency (leads to lower nutrient levels and loss of appetite)
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (causes inflamed joints)
  • Inflammatory bowel disorder (causes inflammation in the digestive tract)

Also, certain conditions might directly affect your kid’s height, leading to an extremely tall or short one. Gigantism can be caused by different conditions that might make the body stimulate too many growth hormones. Meanwhile, dwarfism can affect height in two ways, including proportionate short stature (makes arms, legs, and trunk proportionately small) and disproportionate short stature (makes limbs and trunk significantly smaller to the body).

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Some height misconceptions to consider

Height is generally celebrated in males around the world. Some research has shown that men often see their ideal height as taller than their actual stature. They are also more likely to self-report that they are taller than they really are [8, 9].

However, similar to weight or BMI, height changes greatly from person to person. The average numbers mentioned above just give a glimpse of the population, not a reflection of your height or health. Keep in mind that the large majority of variation in height is determined by genetics, that is something you cannot control. But in case your height is impacting your mental or emotional health, you need to seek therapy for help.

Final words,

The average height for men USA is 5 feet 9 inches, slightly above the average height for men worldwide. Height is mainly influenced by genetics, but the environmental factors mentioned above can play a role. And always remember that height is not a determination of your masculinity or worth. It is just a measurement and will vary widely from individual to individual.

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