What Is The Average Height For Women Worldwide?

Our bodies undergo a lot of changes over time: We might gain or lose weight, try out different hair colors on your skin tone, or improve our muscle strength by working out. While we can modify our bodies in multiple ways, height is one thing that is mostly fixed. Whether you have the towering stature of a model like Karlie Kloss or the petite frame of actress Kristin Chenoweth, you're more or less stuck with that height for the rest of your life.

There's nothing wrong with being taller or shorter than the average person. The biggest issues you may run into are, say, feeling awkward in heels (especially when they put you a full six inches over everyone else's heads) or struggling to see the stage at a concert (you can't really bring a stool to Coachella). Still, you may be wondering what makes you taller or shorter than others and what the average height for women really is.

Women are 5 feet 3 inches on average

According to Medical News Today, it's difficult to judge the exact average height for women worldwide because each country has its own way of measuring and reporting this data. Still, many unofficial sources estimate the average to be around 5 feet 3 inches. By comparison, the average height for women in the U.S. is 5 feet 4 inches, one inch taller.

Our World in Data has collected the average heights of women from several countries, showing how wide the range can be. The tallest women in the data are from Latvia, at an average height of 169.8 centimeters (nearly 5 feet 7 inches). The shortest were from Guatemala, at an average 149.39 centimeters (just under 4 feet 11 inches).

Even within one country, height can differ depending on factors like ethnicity. In the U.S., for example, the CDC reports that non-Hispanic white women are 5 feet 4 inches tall on average, while Mexican American women are three inches shorter on average.

Several key factors influence height

So, why are some of us taller or shorter than the average person, and is there any way to influence height? Healthline lists several factors that can determine your height, including genetics, diet, activity level, and posture. While you may not be able to control what your mama and papa gave you, there's evidence showing that height can change and that, overall, people are growing taller over time.

This doesn't mean you can add inches to your height overnight. Rather, average heights are increasing with each generation. Around the world, people have grown taller over the last century, with European and East Asian countries increasing their height averages the most. This is largely due to advances in medicine, diet, and quality of life.

If you're committed to lengthening your body, Medical News Today suggests practicing good posture, exercising, lifting weights, and getting your daily dose of calcium. Even if your healthy habits have little impact on your height now, at the very least they may play a role in the height of your future children and grandchildren.