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Tallest People in The World: Top 25 Countries by Average Height

Here’s a chart visualising the tallest people in the World.

The exact numbers change from year to year.

But:

This will give you a good overview of the top 25 countries by height.

Feel free to download, link to or share the chart. 

Just click the image, right-click and choose ‘Save image as..”.

(Or link to this attachment page: https://tallsome.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Tallest-People-in-the-World.png)

Tallest People in the World

View PDF: Tallest People in the World


Who are the Tallest People in the World?

Here’s the list of top 25 countries sorted by their average height:


Source: Average Height


The numbers behind the tallest countries in the World change from year to year. And it is not every year the average height of a population is assessed. Therefore, there might be some discrepancy between the real-time average height divided by country the data shown in the above chart.

However, I hope that this visualisation will provide as a funny and interesting overview of the height averages across the World’s tallest countries. Not surprisingly, Northern Europe and Scandinavia is well represented in the top percentile of the tallest countries in the World.

Equally unsurprising is it that Asia is less represented at the very top of the height charts. Although, we have a few Asian countries at the bottom of the top 25; Russia and Israel. Apart from these two, the rest of the 25 tallest countries are European.

Which countries have the tallest population?

Based on the above data, the countries with the tallest population are:

  1. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  2. Netherlands
  3. Montenegro

The top 3 varies from year to year, as the differences in the very top is very small. This means that when a new set of data is collected, the top 3 is very likely to change. Another reason why the top 3 varies is that the population of the countries vary, as people die and new generations grow up.

A general rule however is that the average height of the tallest countries in the world goes up. This is due to better nutrition and general better health in new generations compared to generations in the past. Not only do we live longer lives – we also max out our genetic potential during our lifespan, resulting in a taller population now than earlier.

Who is the tallest person in the World?

According to Wikipedias list of the Tallest People, the living tallest persons in the world in 2020 are:

  1. Sultan Kösen, 8′ 2.8″ / 251 cm, Turkey
  2. Brahim Takioullah, 8′ 1″ / 246 cm, Morocco
  3. Morteza Mehrzad, 8′ 1″ / 246 cm, Iran

Top 3 Tallest People in the World

Sultan Kösen is a farmer and famous for being the world’s tallest person and the 7th tallest person in history.

The record holders for being the tallest people are often conditioned with acromegaly, which is caused by a tumour. This affects what is called the pituitary gland that controls the growth of the body.

Sultan uses crutches to walk, as the body cannot support such growth alone. The limbs grow too long for the muscles, tendons and bones to support without external help from e.g. crutches.

The tallest man in the world is still alive, around 40 years old, and we hope he lives long and has a great life in the spot light caused by his fame as the tallest man on earth.

More about the data

As Wikipedia states on their “Average human height by country” post, there are some reasons why it is difficult to accurately determine the average height of a nation and thus – determine who the tallest group of people in the World are. The reasons why the data may be difficult to retrieve is the following:

  • Some of the studies behind these numbers on average height might be self reported. As a general rule, self-reported height is higher/taller than reality.[1] The overestimation is however subject to the respondents height, age, gender and region. [2][3][4][5]
  • Subjects participating in such height studies may have been invited instead of chosen at random. This causes a sampling bias, as a real average needs to be calculated on a truly randomized group of study participants.
  • Some regions have a very large height gap between the tallest and the shortest individuals – Germany serves as an example, where there is 10.8 centimeters or 4.5 inches difference. This skews the average and makes it hard to trust the accuracy of the average calculated on this basis.
  • Sample size of participating people in such studies may have been low. The n, or number of data points, needs to relatively high in order to represent an average height that is close to the actual number in that region or country. The reason for this is that it’s close to impossible to make a nation-wide height study. Although some countries track and use the data they collect when young men and women sign up for military service, where they are weighed, measured and assessed in other ways.

I will update this chart, if I receive or find better data that comes closer to a real representation of the actual average height of a population. But don’t hold your breath; just used the above and linked sources as a point of departure for whatever you are going to use the insights for.

Who are the tallest race in the world?

The Dinka people of Sudan are one of the tallest race in the world. The males average around 181.3 centimetres on average (5 ft 11 inches).

So why aren’t they at the top of the list? Because they don’t have the highest average, just one of the tallest races. But something suggests that they might also take the lead as being the tallest population on average, given the right conditions.

Health and nutrition has a lot to say when it comes to height. The Dinkas and Shilluks of Sudan would probably grow taller if they had the same conditions growing up as e.g. the Dutch people.

The reason why is that you have a genetic potential of how tall you’ll grow. You can maximise that potential for growth through a healthy upbringing; with the right foods, activities and environment.

In the future, we might see more of the African countries on the top 10 of tallest countries in the world, as their living conditions are improved and their children get to maximise their genetic potential for height growth.

As a fun little round-off I would like to know:

What’s your height – and where are you from? Leave a quick comment below! ⬇️

3 Responses
  • Andre
    November 1, 2020

    This is a list of the tallest people in Europe! Not the WORLD.

    The Dinka race in Africa are on average 6’4″!
    Put them on this graph and see how short it makes the tallest average European!

    • Rued
      November 2, 2020

      Hi Andre,
      I looked into the Dinkas, and you are probably right. There are some reportings of them being quite tall—couldn’t find any source that reported 6’4, but very close that height and about 6 feet tall at least. So yes, we need to add the African Dinka people to this list in a future version. I still hoped it was interesting to get a quick overview of how these European countries stack up against each other.
      Rued

    • Elisa
      February 27, 2021

      So interesting. Was surprised Ethiopia not on list. I’m older and things have changed enormously. I am 5’61/2 and born in England of English mother and Faeroese(Danish) father. I’m female.

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