What’s The Average Male Height In America?

Plus, The Distribution Of How Men Measure Up Around The World

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I come from a family of short people. 

All five people in my immediate, nuclear family are notably shorter than most of our friends or same-sex peers.

For my whole life, I was always the shortest or second shortest in my class, and even though my sisters and mom are also shorter than the average height for women in America, I took the prize for being the shortest person in the family.

That said, my dad is also quite short compared to the average male height in the United States.

What is the average male height in America? What is the average height for men worldwide?

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average height for an adult male in America is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters), or just over 5 feet, 9 inches.

In this guide, we will discuss the average male height in America and worldwide and the factors that affect the average height for men.

We will cover: 

Time to jump in!

A group of men walking outside.

What Is the Average Height for Men in America?

As of 2016, the average height for an adult male in America is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters), or just over 5 feet, 9 inches, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.1Fryar, C. (2018). The Narrative of Ann Pratt: Life-Writing, Genre and Bureaucracy in a Postemancipation Scandal. History Workshop Journal85(122), 265–279. https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dby001

‌This average American man’s height is reportedly pulled from data that was compiled as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 1999 to 2016.

Because this is the national average height for men in America, roughly half of American men will be taller than 5 feet and 9 inches, and approximately 50% of American men will be shorter than 5 feet and 9 inches tall.

(If this average height statistic was the median, we could confidently say it would represent the 50th percentile for male height in the US.)

However, this 69.1-inch average height for American men is the mean, which is the calculated average taken by adding up all of the data points for male height in the United States and then dividing that sum by the total number of male heights added together.

A group of men smiling.

What Is the Average Height for Men in America By Age?

According to MedicineNet, the average height for men by age decreases by almost 3 cm from age 20 to ages 60 and older as follows:2Ratini, M. (2022, March 31). Average Height for Men Worldwide (Stats Inside). MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/height_men/article.htm

Average Male Height In America By Age

  • Average American male height age 20 to 39: 176.1 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 9 inches
  • Average American male height age 40 to 59: 175.8 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 9 inches
  • Average American male height ages 60 and older: 173.4 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 8 inches

What Is the Average Height for Men in America By Race?

Your adult height is largely determined by your genetics, with studies suggesting that up to 60 to 81% of your height is attributable to your genetics.3Kim, Y., Lee, Y., Lee, S., Kim, N. H., Lim, J., Kim, Y. J., Oh, J. H., Min, H., Lee, M., Seo, H.-J., Lee, S.-H., Sung, J., Cho, N. H., Kim, B.-J., Han, B.-G., Elston, R. C., Won, S., & Lee, J. (2015). On the Estimation of Heritability with Family-Based and Population-Based Samples. BioMed Research International2015, 671349. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/671349

‌Therefore, height by race can vary somewhat due to differences in some of the genes identified to affect height.

According to MedicineNet, the average height for men by race is as follows:4Ratini, M. (2022, March 31). Average Height for Men Worldwide (Stats Inside). MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/height_men/article.htm

Average Height For Men By Race

  • Average male height for Caucasian men in the US: 177.4 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 10 inches
  • Average male height for black men in the US: 175.5 centimeters, or just over 5 feet, 9 inches
  • Average male height for Asian men in the US: 169.7 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 7 inches
  • Average male height for Hispanic men in the US: 169.5 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 7 inches

Note that these race categories were provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and refer to non-Hispanic white, black, and Asian men, respectively.

A man being measured.

What Is the Average Height for Men In the World?

So, how does the average American male height stack up to the average height for men worldwide?

According to MedicineNet, the average height for American men ranks 37th place worldwide, while according to World Data, which has average height for men by country, the average height of men in the US ranks 41st out of 130 countries.5WorldData. (2019). Average height of men and women worldwide. Worlddata.info. https://www.worlddata.info/average-bodyheight.php

‌Using the World Data average height for men by country, the average height for men worldwide is 1.74 meters or 5 feet 8.4 inches, which means that the average male height in America is just about 0.6 inches taller than the average male in the world.

Men in Scandinavian regions and Eastern Europe tend to be the tallest on average. For example, the average male height is about 6 feet in countries like the Netherlands and Denmark.

In contrast, in parts of Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as well as countries like Guatemala, the average male height is barely 5 feet, 4 inches (which is actually the average female height in America).

The data for average male height for different countries converted into inches and centimeters is displayed in the table below:

CountryAverage Height (cm)Average Height (inches)
Netherlands18472.44
Montenegro18372.05
Estonia18271.65
Denmark18271.65
Bosnia and Herzegovina18271.65
Iceland18171.26
Czechia18171.26
Slovenia18171.26
Slovakia18171.26
Croatia18171.26
Serbia18070.87
Sweden18070.87
Norway18070.87
Lithuania18070.87
Poland18070.87
Ukraine18070.87
Finland18070.87
Latvia18070.87
Germany18070.87
Dominica18070.87
Belgium17970.47
Bermuda17970.47
Greece17970.47
Puerto Rico17970.47
Switzerland17970.47
Australia17970.47
Ireland17970.47
Canada17870.08
Austria17870.08
France17870.08
Antigua and Barbuda17870.08
Lebanon17870.08
Belarus17870.08
Andorra17870.08
French Polynesia17870.08
Cook Islands17870.08
Luxembourg17870.08
United Kingdom17870.08
Grenada17870.08
New Zealand17870.08
Romania17769.69
Niue17769.69
United States17769.69
American Samoa17769.69
Jamaica17669.29
Hungary17669.29
Russia17669.29
Tokelau17669.29
Saint Lucia17669.29
Spain17669.29
Turkey17669.29
Israel17669.29
Morocco17568.90
Libya17568.90
Brazil17568.90
Georgia17568.90
South Korea17568.90
Iran17568.90
Tonga17568.90
China17568.90
Kazakhstan17468.50
Hong Kong17468.50
Argentina17468.50
Italy17468.50
Bahamas17468.50
Palestine17468.50
Portugal17468.50
North Korea17468.50
Algeria17468.50
Costa Rica17468.50
Albania17468.50
Jordan17468.50
Samoa17368.11
United Arab Emirates17368.11
Bulgaria17368.11
Cuba17368.11
Taiwan17368.11
Singapore17368.11
Iraq17368.11
Egypt17368.11
Venezuela17368.11
Chile17368.11
Qatar17368.11
Haiti17267.72
Japan17267.72
Colombia17167.32
Thailand17167.32
Tuvalu17167.32
Cameroon17167.32
Sudan17167.32
Chad17167.32
Palau17066.93
Somalia17066.93
Eritrea17066.93
Mongolia17066.93
El Salvador17066.93
Saudi Arabia17066.93
Mexico17066.93
Kiribati17066.93
Zimbabwe17066.93
Kenya17066.93
Nigeria17066.93
Ghana16966.54
Nauru16966.54
Micronesia16966.54
South Africa16966.54
Malaysia16866.14
Vietnam16866.14
Bolivia16866.14
Afghanistan16866.14
Congo (Dem. Republic)16866.14
Ethiopia16866.14
Maldives16866.14
Sri Lanka16765.75
Ecuador16765.75
Burundi16765.75
Pakistan16765.75
Brunei16665.35
Myanmar16665.35
India16665.35
Indonesia16665.35
Cambodia16564.96
Madagascar16564.96
Philippines16564.96
Bangladesh16564.96
Nepal16464.57
Guatemala16464.57
Yemen16364.17
Laos16263.78
East Timor15962.60
A man and little girl measuring their height.

How Has the Average Height for Men In America Changed Over Time?

Various anthropometric measurements have been collected in the United States since the late 1950s.

These include body measurements such as height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and even head circumference.

This type of data can be helpful for health experts and epidemiologists to track trends in height, weight, and BMI relative to risks of diseases, changes in nutrition recommendations, changes in medical treatments, etc.

Looking back at some of the earliest average height male statistics and average BMI for men in America, we see that American men have gotten increasingly taller and heavier since the late 1950s.

Even before that, the average male height in the United States and worldwide has continued to increase.

Here are some historical average heights for men in the US:

  • The average height for men in Pilgrim colonies in the 1620s in Massachusetts was about 66 inches (5 feet and 6 inches). 
  • The average height for male Civil War soldiers in 1863 was 67.7 inches.
  • The average height for male soldiers in the United States in 1917 was 67.5 inches.
  • The average height for United States Army recruits in 1943 was 68.1 inches.
A person on a scale.

The earliest skeletal remnants of men from the Mesolithic period showed that the average man’s height was about 168 centimeters, or approximately 5 feet, 5 inches (64 inches).

Although that is a full 4 inches shorter than the average male height in America today, this growth occurred over a whopping 10,000 years.

Therefore, even though normal male heights have continued to increase, the likelihood of men someday towering 7 feet or more on average is improbable.

In fact, many health experts think that given our advances in nutrition, health, and preventing osteoporosis with aging, the average adult height has probably maxed out and won’t continue to increase much in the future.

A scale.

References

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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