Some Americans may think that they “rise” above the “crowd”. But when it comes to being taller, Dutch men (at an average of 6-feet) and Latvian women (at an average of 5’6’ tall) stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world’s population. In fact, the average adult in the US falls well behind numerous other countries per a report published in Monday’s edition of the journal eLife.
According to study leader Majid Ezzati of London’s Imperial College, the median “national height averages are useful indicators of malnutrition, healthcare, environment and general health experienced from womb to adolescence.”
In coming to his conclusions, Ezzati, and his team examined data gathered in over 14,000 studies involving approximately 18.6 million adults who reached the age of 18.during the last 100-years (from 1914-2014). It should be noted that 18 is the age when people generally attain their maximum height.
Although men in the United States gained an average of 2-1/2 inches and women grew by about 2 inches, during the last century, the country now ranks 37th tallest for males (averaging 5’10”) and 42nd among women (about 5’5” tall). Of course, that doesn’t mean that a lot of people are not growing well beyond those figures, regardless of race.
While Apache Indians are not generally as tall as Sioux, famed chief Cochise was 6’ tall, not to mention Abraham Lincoln and modern day athletes such as Michael Jordan. 6’ 6” tall or even Shaquille O’Neal, a whopping 7’ 1”, or Eli Manning at 6’4”and his brother Peyton, 6’5”, etc.
Additional results from Ezzati’s study may also surprise you. Following Dutchmen, Ezzati reports that the next tallest men (in order) were found in Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Iceland, and the Czech Republic. Latvia also accounted for the tallest women (on average), followed by the Dutch, Estonians, Czechs, Serbians, Slovakians, Danes, Lithuanians, Belarusans and Ukrainians.
Meanwhile, the research team and Imperial College noted that nationalities that experienced the greatest growth spurts were Korean females (jumping as much as 8 inches in average height), and Iranian males, who have posted approximately 6” in added stature.
Note: Although the US is listed as 37th on Ezzati’s list the country is home to the greatest number of individual world record holders, including Robert Wadlow, confirmed by Guinness World Records as the tallest (verified) man in history, at 8-feet 11-inches tall. Born in 1918, Wadlow died at the age of 22.
The 23rd tallest man, John Rogan (1868-1905) measured 8-feet 9-inches long, but was unable to stand due to a severe joint disorder is known as ankylosis. At the time of his death at the age of 37, Rogan reportedly weighed only 174 lbs. Third on the list is John F. Carroll at 8-feet 7-inches. Carroll also died at the age of 37 in 1969.
Interestingly, Guinness states that three of world’s tallest women; Zeng Jinlian (8-foor 1-3/4-inches tall), Yao Defen (7-feet 8-inches), and Sun Feng (7-feet 3inches) all hailed from the People’s Republic of China.