What is the Average Height for Women in America?

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Written by Enoch Omololu
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Ranking 49th in the world, the average height of a woman in America is 5 foot 4 inches, according to data from a US Center for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The country with the tallest average female height worldwide is the Netherlands. The average Dutch woman stands at 5 foot 6 inches, which is slightly taller than the average American woman.

Average Height of a Woman in the US

Since the mid-2010s, the average American female height has remained approximately 5 foot 4 inches. However, the female body shape and size have slightly changed over time.

Halfway through the 20th Century, the average female weight in the US was about 140.2 lbs, and they were 5ft 3 inches tall.

The height of US women varies across different regions. According to a 2017 survey carried out by the CDC, the average female height in California is 5 foot 3 inches. This makes the state, amongst others, rank second to last in this metric.

New Mexico ranks last, while some Northern states like Montana and North Dakota come first.

The average height for women in Canada, the United States next door neighbor, is 5 foot 5 inches. This is much higher than that of America’s second neighbor, Mexico, which is 5 foot 1 inch.

Even though US women are not the tallest in North America, they are far from being considered short.

image showing women in hijab and different heights

Average Female Height Worldwide

The average height of a woman in the world today is 5 foot 3 inches, and there are many countries where the average woman is this tall. Some notable ones are Costa Rica, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.

In Europe, the average woman is 5 feet 6 inches tall, which is more than the average height for women in the US.

In Asia, the average female height is around the 5 feet mark, while South American and African women are an average of 5 feet 2 inches tall.

Here is a list of the countries ranked to show how tall their women are:

1Netherlands5‘6161.4 lb
2Montenegro5‘6166 lb
3Denmark5‘6154.8 lb
4Iceland5‘6160.1 lb
5Estonia5‘6162.5 lb
6Serbia5‘6160.1 lb
7Latvia5‘6164.3 lb
8Czech Republic5‘6163.6 lb
9Lithuania5‘5161.2 lb
10Slovenia5‘5163.6 lb
11Bosnia and Herzegovina5‘5155.7 lb
12Cook Islands5‘5204.6 lb
13American Samoa5‘5216.3 lb
14Slovakia5‘5157.2 lb
15Croatia5‘5164.7 lb
37Canada5‘5159.6 lb
46United States5‘4170 lb

Factors Influencing Height

Different factors work in tandem to influence how tall a person will be. Age is one of them because people grow taller the older they become. Usually, women reach their maximum height at about 19.

The average height for 14 year old female in the US is 5 foot 2 inches, and they grow up to 5 foot 4 inches by 18. Some other influencing factors are as follows:

1. Genetics

The height of a woman’s parents will directly affect hers. If the parents are tall, it means they have a tall dominant gene, which has a high chance of making their daughter tall.

Sometimes, a parent might be short but have a tall recessive gene that might be dominant in the girl child, resulting in her being tall.

2. Nutrition

A malnourished person might have stunted growth in their formative years. There are essential nutrients that directly influence a person’s height and should be present in their diet to make them grow taller. Some of them are protein, vitamin D and calcium.

3. Environment

A person’s immediate environment can influence how tall they will be in the long run. Some decisive factors in their environment are water purity, climatic conditions, vaccine availability, and access to standard healthcare.

4. Hormones

Everyone has growth hormones that influence their height, and growth hormone deficiency will lead to stunted growth.

Sleep enhances the production of growth hormones. Hence, children should get around 8 hours of sleep at night to help them reach their height potential.

How to Accurately Measure Height

According to the CDC, to accurately measure your height, you should do the following:

  1. Remove your shoes, heavy clothing, or headgear.
  2. Stand straight against the wall, back it with your two feet flat on the floor and put them together.
  3. Look straight ahead, ensuring your eyesight is parallel to the floor.
  4. Let someone place a flat object on your head at a right angle to the wall.
  5. The person should mark where the flat object touches the wall.
  6. Carefully use a tape rule to measure the distance between the floor and the mark on the wall. The distance measured is how tall you are.

Average Female Weight in the US

The average female weight in America today is 170 lbs. This substantially increased from the 140.2 lb mark recorded in the 1960s.

While both height and weight are increasing simultaneously, the average height is rising slower. These uneven changes naturally result in a rise in the female population’s average BMI (body-mass index).

BMI is a metric calculated by dividing a person’s weight by height. Since the average height for women in the USA is 5 foot 4 inches, their average BMI is 29.


Is 5’6 tall for a woman in the US?

Yes, 5’6 is considered tall because the average height in America for females is 5’4.

What percentile of American women are 5’10 or taller?

According to data from the CDC, American women that are 5’10 and above are in the 99th percentile.

What is considered a tall female?

A female is considered tall if she is 5 foot 6 inches or above.

Which country has the tallest women?

The Netherlands have the tallest women in the world. The average height for women there is 5 foot 7 inches.



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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert who has a passion for helping others win with their finances. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has been writing about money management for over a decade. Enoch has been featured in several leading personal finance publications including MSN Money, The Globe and Mail, Wealthsimple, and the Financial Post.

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