The average American man stands just under 5 feet, 10 inches -- or about 5 feet, 9.3 inches to be precise. That’s roughly 176 centimeters. This measure gives the U.S. it's standing in 37th place for male height worldwide. (The Netherlands ranks first. There the average man is nearly six feet or 182.5 centimeters.)
The average height in a certain region can say a lot about the quality of life in that place. For example, a poor diet and sickness during childhood can prevent you from growing as tall as you might have otherwise. So, when researchers keep tabs on the height from country to country, they can use the data to help learn about a country’s health and well-being.
What follows is an explanation of how doctors measure men’s height and data about the height from the U.S. and around the world.
How Do Doctors Measure Average Height?
Doctors and scientists usually measure height in centimeters, not feet and inches. That’s because most people around the world use the metric system to measure height.
Average Height for Men in U.S.
According to the latest CDC stats, these are the average heights for U.S. adult men based on age:
- Ages 20 to 39: 176.1 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 9 inches
- Ages 40 to 59: 175.8 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 9 inches
- Age 60 and older: 173.4 centimeters, or roughly 5 feet, 8 inches
These are average heights for U.S. men by race:
- Non-Hispanic white: 177.4 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 10 inches
- Non-Hispanic black: 175.5 centimeters, or just over 5 feet, 9 inches
- Non-Hispanic Asian: 169.7 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 7 inches
- Hispanic: 169.5 centimeters, or just under 5 feet, 7 inches
Average Male Height Worldwide
Around the world, men’s heights range from an average of 6 feet in the Northwestern European nation of the Netherlands to 5 feet, 3 inches in the Southeast Asian nation of Timor Leste. Here are the average heights of men from a selection of other countries in centimeters and feet:
|Country||Height in Centimeters and Feet|
|Denmark||181.4, or 5 feet, 11.5 inches|
|Germany||179.9, or 5 feet, 11 inches|
|Norway||179.7, or 5 feet, 11 inches|
|France||179.7, or 5 feet, 11 inches|
|Australia||179.2, or 5 feet, 10.5 inches|
|Canada||178.1, or 5 feet, 10 inches|
|U.K.||177.5, or 5 feet, 10 inches|
|U.S.||177.1, or 5 feet, 9.5 inches|
|South Korea||174.9, or 5 feet, 9 inches|
|Brazil||173.6, or 5 feet, 8.5 inches|
|Singapore||172.6, or 5 feet, 8 inches|
|China||171.8, or 5 feet, 7.5 inches|
|Japan||170.8, or 5 feet, 7 inches|
|Kenya||169.6, or 5 feet, 7 inches|
|Mexico||169, or 5 feet, 6.5 inches|
|Sudan||166.6, or 5 feet, 5.5 inches|
|India||164.9, or 5 feet, 5 inches|
|Yemen||159.9, or 5 feet, 3 inches|
What Determines a Man’s Height?
Your genes and what you ate as a kid play big parts in how tall you grow.
So far, scientists have identified 697 different genes that impact height.
While men are often similar in height to their fathers and other male relatives, this isn’t always the case. Men inherit height genes from their mothers as well. And different combinations of genes can lead to very different heights, even among men from the same family.
Nutrition, especially early in life, is a big factor when it comes to height. Protein supports healthy growth and development. And there’s evidence that kids who eat high-protein diets are taller than kids who don’t.
High-protein foods include eggs, dairy, red and white meat, and legumes like beans and lentils.
The Right Way to Measure Height at Home
Want to know how you measure up? You’ll need someone’s help to get your exact height. Here’s how to do it accurately:
- Take off your shoes.
- Stand on a hard floor -- not on a rug or carpeting.
- Press your back and heels against a flat wall.
- Stand up straight. Look straight ahead and try not to raise or lower your chin.
- Have someone place something flat and level -- like a book -- on top of your head against the wall.
- Have that person mark a line on the wall at the bottom of the flat object.
- Using a tape measure, measure the height from the floor to the line on the wall.
NCD Risk Factor Collaboration: “Height.”
Our World in Data: “Human Height.”
CDC: “National Health Statistics Report: Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999–2000 Through 2015–2016,” “Measuring Children’s Height and Weight Accurately At Home.”