The average height for men has increased over the past hundred years. This increase is primarily due to better nutrition. Other factors can also play a role in determining a man's height.
Average heights are calculated and tracked through vital statistics collected by national health agencies. These agencies start collecting standing height at age two, measuring individuals to the nearest 0.1 cm with a digital stadiometer.
A stadiometer is a height-measuring device with a vertical ruler and a sliding horizontal stick or rod that is placed on the top of the head.
Average Height for Men in the U.S.
The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the average height for an adult male is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters), or roughly 5 feet 9 inches.This data was compiled as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 1999 to 2016.
Keep in mind that average means half of the adult male population will be taller and half will be shorter. As with skin tone and eye color, height isn't something you can change. Learn more about trends for adult men and what to expect as a boy grows.
How to Accurately Measure Height
While height is measured using a stadiometer in most healthcare settings, most of us don't have the luxury of specialized equipment just for measuring height.
But there are best practices for measuring height at home. You will need a pencil and a metal measuring tape. Remove your shoes and socks and stand against a flat wall (ideally without molding at the bottom). Your body should make contact with the wall from the back of your heels to your head. Look straight ahead, with your gaze parallel to the ground.
With the pencil horizontal along the top of your head, make a small mark on the wall to denote your height. Use the measuring tape to measure from the floor to the pencil mark. Most height in the U.S. is measured in feet and inches. Round to the nearest eighth of an inch.
How Have Average Heights Changed for Men?
Measurements of body mass index, weight, height, and even head circumference have been collected in the U.S. since the late 1950s. Men have been getting increasingly taller in that short span of a few decades.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a dated, biased measure that doesn’t account for several factors, such as body composition, ethnicity, race, gender, and age.
Despite being a flawed measure, BMI is widely used today in the medical community because it is an inexpensive and quick method for analyzing potential health status and outcomes.
One of the earliest reports stated that "men in the general civilian population average 68.2 inches in height," a little more than an inch shorter than expected today. Previous to this time, historic glimpses suggest that the average height has been creeping up steadily in the past 400 years.
Historic Male Heights in the U.S.
- Men in the Pilgrim's early Massachusetts colony averaged around 66 inches in height (1620)
- Civil War soldiers reportedly averaged 67.7 inches (1863)
- United States soldiers averaged 67.5 inches (1917)
- United States Army recruits averaged 68.1 inches (1943)
- The average adult male was 69.3 inches (5 feet, 9 inches) in 2010.
This probably does not mean that men will keep growing taller as time passes. Despite the evidence of growth, the archeological examination of skeletons from as far back as the Mesolithic period showed that a man's height was roughly 168 centimeters, or approximately 5 feet, 5 inches. That translates to a mere four inches over 10,000 years.
Regarding recent gains in height, experts believe that better health and nutrition play a part in this growth spurt. Today, there are effective ways to prevent illness and promote health during a child's formative years.
There are more means to delay degeneration as a person gets older, preventing the deterioration of bone and muscle that can lead to a loss of height. Most experts, as a result, believe that the height potential may have maxed out.
The Basics of a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Average Height for Men Worldwide
Compared to men in other parts of the world, the American male sits pretty much in the middle of the national averages.
In some countries, like the Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the average height is just over 6 feet tall. In parts of Asia—particularly Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines)—the average falls around 5 feet, 4 inches or less.
Meanwhile, the tallest men appear to come from the Nilotic people of the Sudan, where the average height is pegged at 6 feet, 3 inches. Here are a few average male heights in various countries, ranked from highest to lowest.
|Average Male Heights Globally|
|Country||Average Male Height|
|Denmark||5 feet 11 inches|
|Bermuda||5 feet 10 inches|
|Canada||5 feet 10 inches|
|Hungary||5 feet 9 inches|
|South Korea||5 feet 9 inches|
|Bahamas||5 feet 8 inches|
|Thailand||5 feet 7 inches|
|Honduras||5 feet 6 inches|
|India||5 feet 5 inches|
|Guatemala||5 feet 4 inches|
Factors That Influence Height
Many factors can affect or influence male height. While genetics plays a role, environmental factors also contribute to how tall a person will become. Here are a few factors at play.
An analysis of 45 different twin studies found that a person's genes can impact their height, and this impact increases as they get older, generally peaking at roughly 14 years of age in boys. Looking at how tall other men in your family are can give you a sense of how tall you might be. However, it is not the only factor.
The amount of nutrition in a male's diet, especially in their early years, has been found to contribute to height potential. Some studies have even found that specific nutrients matter as well. For example, there is evidence that men can achieve increased height by eating high-quality proteins.
Research indicates that illnesses or diseases that impact food intake or absorption can also affect height. This includes diarrhea-causing infections, respiratory infections, and even childhood fevers. Some examples of illnesses that can blunt height development include Cushing's disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and sickle cell anemia.
Where a child grows up may also contribute to how tall they get. For example, one study noted that shorter bouts of daylight increase thyroid hormones, thus increasing height. Longer durations of sunshine throughout the day contribute to increased height.
A Word From Verywell
The average height for men is different across the world but sits at 5 feet, 9 inches in the United States. Knowing how to accurately measure height is the first step toward understanding how you measure up to this average. If you fall below the average, remember that you are in good company, as roughly half the male population also falls below the average! If you are concerned about your height and whether you may have underlying medical conditions affecting it, contact a healthcare provider.
What Is the Average Height for Women?
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Grasgruber P, Sebera M, Hrazdira E, Cacek J, Kalina T. Major correlates of male height: a study of 105 countries. Econ Human Biol. 2016;21:172-195. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2016.01.005
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2011-2014. Published 2016.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mean body weight, height, waist circumference, and body mass index among adults: United States, 1999–2000 through 2015–2016. Published Dec 20, 2018.
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Weight, Height, and Selected Body Dimensions of Adults United States - 1960 - 1962. Published June 1, 1965.
Roser M, Appel C, Ritchie H. Human Height. Our World in Data. Updated May 2019.
Yeboah J. Diet, height, and health.Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(2):443-444. doi:10.3945/ajcn.117.161562
Perkins JM, Subramanian SV, Davey Smith G, Özaltin E. Adult height, nutrition, and population health.Nutr Rev. 2016;74(3):149-165. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuv105
Marck A, Antero J, Berthelot G, et al. Are we reaching the limits of homo sapiens? Front Physiol. 2017;8:812. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00812
Berezow A. Move Over, Dutch Men. Herzegovinians May Be Tallest in World. American Council on Science and Health. Published Apr 12, 2017.
Langtree I. Height Chart of Men and Women in Different Countries. Disabled World. Updated Nov 29, 2019.
NCD RisC. Height: evolution of height over time.
Jelenkovic A, Sund r, Hur YM, et al. Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: an individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:28496. doi:10.1038/srep28496
Perkins JM, Subramanian SV, Smith GD, Ozaltin E. Adult height, nutrition, and population health. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(3):149-165. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuv105
Yokoya M, Higuchi Y, van Wouwe J. Day length may make geographical difference in body size and proportions: an ecological analysis of Japanese children and adolescents. PLoS One. 2019;14(1):e0210265. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0210265
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2007-2010. Vital and Health Statistics. 2012;11(252):1-48.
Hathaway M. Trends in Heights and Weights.Yearbook of Agriculture. 1959;1-5.
By Vincent Iannelli, MD
Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for children for more than 20 years.
See Our Editorial Process
Meet Our Review Board
Was this page helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
What is your feedback?
In 2017, the average male in the United States measured 69 inches (5 feet 9 inches). Around a century ago, the
|Body weight||Ideal height|
|122 to 150 lbs||5'5”|
|128 to 156 lbs||5'6”|
|133 to 163 lbs||5'7”|
|139 to 169 lbs||5'8”|
In the United States, the average male is about 5 feet 9 inches tall. 1 Factors like genetics, nutrition, and medical conditions can affect where you'll stand on the growth charts.Is 5 7 average height for a man? ›
Around 68% of the adult male population are within 3 inches of that height, so 5'7′ falls within that majority range. That's pretty 'normal' (i.e. common, typical) for men. So 5'7′ is a little bit shorter than average, but falls within the typical range for an adult male.Is 5 9 enough for a guy? ›
5′9 is a very good height for a guy, it's perfectly average, very round height, taller than most girls and not short at all, in fact, it's really far away from short, it's closer to 6ft than 5′5, think about that. 5′9 guys who think they are short are literally psychos… what would a 5′4 or 5′5 guy say?Is 5 ft 9 a good height? ›
On a global scale, the average height of men is around 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm), while the average height of women is around 5 feet 4 inches (162 cm).Is 5 ft 8 a good height? ›
5′8″ is more than average height for any Indian. For professional reasons, like if you are planning to enter armed forces then also it is more than the required height and also in personal life you will be called a person with good height.Is 5 10 a good height for a guy? ›
5′10 (178 cm) is an internationally good height for men.Is 5 11 a good height? ›
So yes, I would say you are plenty tall, even for women slightly taller than you. Your defiantly tall enough 5ft 11in is above height for a male in the uk,and usa. you would be average height in sweden,and below average height in holland in some asian countries 5ft 11in is very tall.Do guys stop growing at 21? ›
Although some men may continue to grow in their 20s, most men's growth plates are closed by 21 years. Hence, it is unlikely for men to grow after 21 years, with some exceptions. In a healthy growth pattern, your bone increases in length due to the growth plates in the bone called epiphyses.
5ft 8 is the average or above average in many countries for men.What age do boys stop growing? ›
Boys tend to show the first physical changes of puberty between the ages of 10 and 16. They tend to grow most quickly between ages 12 and 15. The growth spurt of boys is, on average, about 2 years later than that of girls. By age 16, most boys have stopped growing, but their muscles will continue to develop.What country has the tallest men? ›
Ever wondered where the tallest men and women live in the world? Well, the answer is Netherlands. Also called a land of giants, the Netherlands is home to men with an average height of a Dutch man is 182.5 cm (about 6 feet). The average height of a Dutch woman is 168.7 cm (5.5 feet).How tall do guys want a girl to be? ›
A study on women's and men's height preferences found that women are most satisfied when their partner was 8 inches (21cm) taller. Men are most satisfied when they are 3 inches (8cm) taller than their partners. Another study found that among men, 13.5 percent prefer to date only women shorter than them.How tall is considered short? ›
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, short stature means an estimated final height below 5 feet 3 inches for boys or 4 feet 11 inches for girls. The average height in the United States is 5 feet 8 inches for men and 5 feet 4 inches for women.Does height of a guy matter? ›
To recap, in general, yeah, women prefer taller men. While most women will end up with a taller guy, most women will also end up with someone who doesn't fit their exact, desired height difference. This is due to a finite dating pool and the availability of tall, or really-tall, men.What male height is most attractive? ›
It's had us all lusting for the likes of Jason Momoa and Hemsworth brothers, while also sparking insecurities among many men under the 6ft bar, but that's all set to change, according to new research suggesting that the ideal height for a man is actually 5ft 8in.How tall is the most attractive height for a man? ›
On average, women say a romantic partner 5'3” or shorter is generally too short for comfort, while a partner 6'3” or taller is too tall, and the “ideal” height for a man is 5'11”.What height do females prefer? ›
Overall, men preferred an SDR of 1.09 (just about the norm), while women overall preferred an SDR of 1.14, far above the norm. That means that women overall prefer men 14 percent taller than themselves. So, on average, that means that a woman who is 5 foot 4 inches would prefer men just under 6 foot 1 inch.