When it comes to height, Dutch men and Latvian women tower over all other nationalities, a new study confirms. The average Dutchman is now 183cm (6ft) tall, while the average Latvian woman reaches 170cm (5ft 7in).
The research, published in the journal eLife, has tracked growth trends in 187 countries since 1914. It finds Iranian men and South Korean women have had the biggest spurts, increasing their height by an average of more than 16cm (6in) and 20cm (8in).
In the UK, the sexes have gone up virtually in parallel by about 11cm (4in). “Mr Average” in Britain is now 178cm (5ft 10in) tall; Ms Average stands at 164cm (5ft 5in). This contrasts for example with men and women in the US, where the height of the nation’s people started to plateau in the 1960s and 1970s. Over the century, they have seen increases of just 6cm and 5cm (a couple of inches), respectively.
Indeed, Americans have tumbled down the rankings. Back in 1914, they had the third tallest men and fourth tallest women on the planet. Today they are in 37th and 42nd place. Read more