What Is The Average Female Height?

2022 Update

Your height plays an important role in determining your health. It is one of many factors that aid healthcare providers in generating a picture of your overall health. Your weight is related to your height, so your health goals can differ from a taller person.

It would be helpful to know what the average female height is. The average height for any woman varies based on multiple factors.

What Is The Average Female Height?

There is no global average for female height. Every country has its own reporting methods and a different average. Many factors affect the average height of a population. The website World Data lists height averages for various countries. As of 2020, the average female height for women of ages 18-40 by continent is:

Asia

RegionAverage Female Height
Central Asia5 feet 3 inches
Western Asia5 feet 2 inches
Southeast Asia5 feet 1 inch
East Asia5 feet 4 inches
South Asia5 feet 1 inch

Europe

RegionAverage Female Height
Western Europe5 feet 5.4 inches
Eastern Europe5 feet 5 inches
Southern Europe5 feet 4 inches
Northern Europe5 feet 4 inches

America

RegionAverage Female Height
South America5 feet 3 inches
North America5 feet 4 inches
Central America5 feet 2 inches
Caribbean5 feet 3 inches

Africa

RegionAverage Female Height
Central Africa5 feet 2 inches
Southern Africa5 feet 2 inches
Northern Africa5 feet 3 inches
Eastern Africa5 feet 2 inches
Western Africa5 feet 2 inches

Oceania

RegionAverage Female Height
Polynesia5 feet 5 inches
Melanesia5 feet 2 inches
Micronesia5 feet 2.6 inches

Australia/ New Zealand

The average female height in Australia is 5 feet 5 inches.

The Height of The Average American Woman

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018, the average height for the American woman is 5 feet 4 inches. Similarly, the average height of the American man is 5 feet 9 inches.

According to a study conducted in 2016, the average height of the American person has risen more slowly compared to other first-world countries.

Height Trends Around The World

  • South Korea is experiencing an increase in height. Research shows that women in South Korea have gained 8 inches in height over the past century.
  • The shortest women on average have been found in many parts of Southeast Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Guatemala) where the increase in height is between 1-6 cm.
  • The tallest women in the world are found in Latvia, the Netherlands, Estonia, and the Czech Republic. The average female height in these countries is between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches.
  • The tallest living woman in the world right now is Rumeysa Gelgi from Turkey. Her height is 7 feet 0.7 inches.

Factors That Affect Height

Globally, changes in height are indicative of social and environmental changes. Some factors are naturally occurring while others relate to standards of living, such as diet. There are at least six known factors that affect height:

1. Genetics

Genetics determine many features of your physical appearance, including your height. Research shows that genetics determine anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of your height. If both your parents are short, there is a high chance you are short too.

It gets a little trickier when one parent is much taller compared to the other. In this case, your height could vary based on your genes and environmental factors. On average, women are shorter than men.

2. Location

Your location has its own unique characteristics, which include factors such as access to clean drinking water, nutrition, and healthcare. Research shows that the location a child lives in during the first year is a key determinant of height.

The study determined some key aspects that can influence growth before birth and during infancy. These aspects include the environment of the womb, mother and baby nutrition as well as social interactions.

Another study conducted using information from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) concluded that geographical latitude can also influence height. They found that the average height for both men and women increases with an increase in geographic latitude.

3. Hormones and Puberty

Adolescence is a time of many changes. The presence of some hormones is key for proper growth and development at this stage. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is one of the most important hormones to ensure normal development.

For women, weight can affect the onset of puberty. Eating a well-balanced diet at this stage is crucial to ensure a child grows to their full potential.

The onset of puberty varies from person to person. Some may experience a late onset, leading to an increase in height later in life.

4. Sleep

Surprisingly enough, sleep is very important for your growth and development. During sleep, the brain has the highest level of activity and most of your body heals and develops during your sleep.

The hormone responsible for growth, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is produced by the body during sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, there are high chances it could impact your height. For the average adult aged 18 to 64, it is recommended you get seven to nine hours of sleep.

5. Nutrition

Possibly the most important factor in determining your height is the quality of your nutrition during growth stages. Good nutrition is essential for growth and development. Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and A and calcium are the most important for height.

In case you want to use supplements to increase your height, this is highly unlikely. It is rare for supplements to increase your height unless your body has trouble producing HGH.

Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

6. Social Factors

A study conducted in 2013 showed that adverse childhood experiences, including neglect and abuse, can affect child-to-adult height growth. A possible explanation is that the body’s stress response may limit the production of HGH.

However, traumatic experiences affect children physically, emotionally, and mentally. For example, a child suffering from depression may refuse to eat, leading to malnourishment.

Although the link between negative childhood experiences and height has not been clearly understood, future research will likely open new pathways.

7. Exercise

Regular exercise can strengthen bones and muscles and stimulates HGH production. For developing children, regular exercise aids physical development and also provides them an outlet for their energy.

Various exercises focus on different parts of the body. A combination of yoga, aerobics, and strength-building exercises would work best.

How To Measure Your Height

You can easily measure your height at home with another person’s help using the following steps:

First of all, remove anything that could add extra inches to your height such as shoes and hair accessories.

Stand on the floor with your feet down flat and the heels against the wall. Do not measure your height while standing on a carpet or rug.

Stand up straight with your shoulders level and hang your arms loosely at your sides.

Press your back and shoulders into the wall and keep your head up. You should be looking straight ahead.

Place something flat atop your head like a book or ruler and mark the wall there.

Measure the distance from the wall to the floor. This is your height.

You can also visit your doctor to get a more accurate measure of your height using a wall-mounted stadiometer.

How To Appear Taller

As an adult, there isn’t much one can do to increase their height. However, you can use clothing to your advantage to appear taller. One of the easiest ways to appear taller is to use clothing that creates a vertical line. Consider the following tips:

Loose Fit Clothes Are A No

Loose-fit clothes can elongate your body horizontally rather than vertically, making you appear short and boxy. In a general sense, loose-fit clothes tend to make you appear smaller although you’re trying to achieve the opposite.

Avoid Long Jackets

This tip also functions on the same principle as the previous one. If you wear a long jacket, it can give you a more boxy shape.

Cropped Everything Is Your Friend

Whether you wear a cropped top or jacket, it will definitely make you appear taller. The way this works is by elongating your torso which obviously makes you look taller than you are.

Monochromatic Outfits

Monochromatic means your outfit is one color. You can mix and match various shades of the color but try to stick to one. A monochromatic outfit creates a vertical line, making you appear taller.

Vertical Stripes

Everyone loves a good pair of pinstripe pants because they look sleek and professional. Additionally, they can also give the illusion of longer legs.

High-Waisted Bottoms

If you’re a short woman who wants to look taller, the easiest way is to wear high-waisted pants and skirts. Similar to vertical stripes, high-rise bottoms can make your legs look longer.

Match Pants & Shoes

Matching your pants and shoes creates an unbroken vertical line, making you appear taller. Wearing high boots with matching tights is a great way to appear taller.