The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Height of an Adult Human

An educational, fair use website

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Curtis, Helena, and N. Sue Barnes. Invitation to Biology. Fifth ed. New York: Worth Publishers, 1994. [Graph] 1.75 m
"Normal Distribution." Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. CD-ROM.2003 ed. Bloomsbury,1993. "For example, in a random sample of adults, most will measure between 120 cm (4 ft) and 210 cm (7 ft) tall, with very few heights outside this range." 1.2 m–2.1 m
Godoy, Ricardo, Elizabeth Goodman, Richard Levins, Craig Seyfried, and Mariana Caram. Adult male height in an American colony: Puerto Rico and the USA mainland compared, 1886-1955. Economics & Human Biology. Vol. 5, No. 1 (2007): 82-99. "During the period considered the average adult man in Puerto Rico was 164.8 cm tall, 8.3 cm shorter than the average adult man on the mainland (173.1 cm)." 1.73 m
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Weight and Height of Adults 18-74 years of Age: United States 1971-74. Hyattsville, MD, 1979. (HE 20.6209:11/211). "The mean height for men aged 18-74 years was 69.0 inches…. For women the mean height was 63.6 inches, 5.4 inches less than the mean height for men." 1.75 m
1.61 m
Villar, Jaume Garcia, and Climent Quintana-Domeque. The Evolution of Adult Height in Europe: A Brief Note [pdf]. Universitat Pompeu Fabra. February 2007. "For instance, looking at Table 1, we see that Finnish men born in the first half of the 1950's were 177.8 cm tall, while those born in the late 1970's achieved 178.7 cm. The less than 1 cm increase by Finnish males contrasts sharply with the growth experienced by Spanish males: from 171.3 to 176.1 cm, almost 5 cm."
[See tables below.]
1.688 m–1.837 m
1.589–1.686 m

You're surrounded by people everyday. Do you ever look around and feel that you're just not the same height as everyone else? Maybe you wonder how far off from the average adult height you are. Well now we know what the average height of an adult human is and you won't have to question how abnormal you are anymore.

A study was done in the 1970s for the sole purpose for determining the average height of an adult human. They took many factors into account when doing this random sample study like diet, genetics, and age. It was found that there were variations between race, ethnicity, and gender. It was concluded that the average man in the United States is 1.75 m tall and the average woman 1.61 m tall with a decrease in height over the years.

Another study showed that there was an evolution of height in Europe because the average height of a Spanish man born in the 1950s was 1.71 m tall while the ones born in the 1970s averaged 1.76 m tall, a nearly 5 cm difference.

If your height is outside this range, you can consider yourself a rarity in this world or just a freak of nature. A few of these oddities would include Gul Mohammed who stood 0.57 m tall at the age of 33 and Robert Pershing Wadlow who was measured to be 2.72 m at 22 years old.

Average heights by year of birth, men (cm)
  1950–1955 1956-1960 1961–1965 1966–1970 1971–1975 1976–1980
Denmark 180.3 179.7 181.0 181.7 181.3 183.7
Sweden 179.6 179.4 180.9 180.5 180.4 181.2
Austria 176.3 177.0 179.2 178.5 178.7 179.6
Belgium 176.2 177.3 177.2 179.4 179.2 179.5
Finland 177.8 179.0 179.6 177.9 178.0 178.7
Greece 174.7 175.4 176.6 177.0 178.4 178.6
Ireland 174.9 176.3 176.1 176.9 177.0 177.4
Italy 172.5 174.3 174.9 174.7 175.4 177.1
Spain 171.3 171.7 173.3 174.7 175.7 176.1
Portugal 168.8 170.0 170.0 169.8 172.1 172.9
Average heights by year of birth, women (cm)
  1950–1955 1956–1960 1961–1965 1966–1970 1971–1975 1976–1980
Denmark 167.2 166.6 167.5 168.5 168.1 168.6
Belgium 163.4 164.9 165.0 166.4 166.2 167.8
Sweden 165.4 166.4 166.7 166.9 166.7 167.2
Austria 165.6 166.2 166.7 166.3 167.7 167.1
Italy 161.4 162.3 163.0 163.9 164.4 166.5
Finland 164.3 164.9 165.5 165.5 165.2 165.9
Greece 163.3 164.1 164.8 165.5 166.4 165.9
Spain 160.4 161.0 161.3 162.8 164.4 165.5
Ireland 162.7 162.7 163.2 164.1 164.7 164.4
Portugal 158.9 159.3 160.5 160.8 162.5 162.5

Kahei Chan -- 2008

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Cameron, Skofronick. Physics of the Body. United States: Wiley, 1999. "While the standard man is non existent, the following somewhat arbitrary values are useful for simulation and for computational purposes: height 1.72 m." 1.72 m
Ellis, Justine A. Significant Population Variation in Adult Male Height Associated with the Y Chromosome and the Aromatase Gene. Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 86, 9 (May, 2001): 4147-4150. "For all 748 subjects, the mean age was 53.4 yr (SD, 5.5), the mean height was 168.8 cm (SD, 8.9), mean weight was 76.1 kg (SD, 14.1), and mean body mass index was 26.6 kg/m2 (SD,4.1). Three was no correlation between age and height, other than accounted for by sex differences. Females (n = 335) were younger (51.7yr; SD, 5.0) than men (n = 413, 54.7 yr; SD, 5.5; P < 0.0001). Men (174.1 cm, SD, 7.0) were significantly (P < 0.0001) taller than women (162.3 cm; SD, 6.2), by 11.8 cm." 1.68 m
1.74 m
1.62 m
Delajara, Marcelo. A Model of the Evolution of Human Stature. January 2002. "The first prediction is that children's height increase smoothly from 137 cm in 1820 to 153.4 cm in 1953; the second prediction is that 13 -year-old boys born in the year 2000 are going to achieve a stature of about 160 cm: that is an increase 23 cm in 180 years, with an average of 1.23 cm per decade...More importantly, the model predicts that adults born in 1820 achieved a mean adult height of 164.8 cm; those born in 1952 reached 174.4 cm; while those born in the year 2000 are to reach on average an adult height of 178.3 cm." 1.65 m
(All yr.1820)
1.74 m
(All yr. 1952)
1.78 m
All yr. 200)
Physical characteristics and distribution. Brainmuseum: 2007. "Human body types vary substantially. Although body size is largely determined by genes, it is also significantly influenced by environmental factors such as diet and exercise. The average height of a North American adult female is 162 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches), and the average weight is 62 kilograms (137 pounds)." 1.62 m

In the 18th and 19th centuries, North American Indians and Europeans residing in that continent were the tallest in the world. Today, the United States is behind many nations of Europe, particularly the Netherlands, when it comes to the height of adults. The Netherlands was renowned for its short population in the late nineteenth century, but today has risen in ranks to become the 2nd nation in the world with the tallest population, the men's height averaging 1.83 m and the women's averaging 1.76 m. The nation with the tallest population is Serbia/Montenegro, where omens height average is 1.86 m and women's is 1.71 m.

Paul T. Schultz determined a correlation between height and wages in his study of Brazil and Ghana. The study determined that a one centimeter increase in height is associated with an 8-10 percent increase in wages for both men and women in those two countries.

The advantages experienced by taller human beings combined with the concept of evolution could very well provide an explanation for a scientific model showing an increase in average height of individuals over a period of 200 years. The model predicts that adults born in 1820 achieved a mean adult height of 1.648 m; those born in 1952 reached 1.744 m; and those born in the year 200 are to reach on average an adult height of 1.783 m. The scientific model is based on adult heights in England.

Simas Ceckauskas -- 2007