Average Weight for Women by Height

Overview of average weight for women

Body mass index, or BMI, is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
Body mass index, or BMI, is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

Body weight is one way that doctors evaluate your health and measure your risk for various diseases. That’s because overweight and obesity can raise your risk for numerous health conditions including heart disease and stroke, certain types of cancer, and kidney disease.

But what is a healthy weight? And where do U.S. women weigh in among other women around the world?

What is the average weight for women in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the average woman weighs 170.5 pounds. Whether or not that makes you overweight or obese depends on your height and how much muscle you have.

Your weight will likely change as you age. Average weights of U.S. women across the adult lifespan are:

  • Ages 20-39: 167.6 pounds
  • Ages 40-59: 176.4 pounds
  • Ages 60 and up: 166.5 pounds

Your racial and ethnic background plays a part in your weight too. Across racial groups, average women’s weights in the U.S. are as follows:

  • Non-Hispanic Asian: 132.4 pounds
  • Hispanic: 169 pounds
  • Non-Hispanic White: 170.9 pounds
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 186.1 pounds

What is a healthy weight for women?

Because your height and muscle tone impact your weight, the number of pounds alone is not enough to tell if you are a healthy weight. Body mass index (BMI) is one way to measure if you’re overweight or obese. The higher your BMI, the greater your risk for obesity-related conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Your BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. Or you can just find an online BMI calculator like the one on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s website. BMI ranges are as follows:

  • Healthy: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 and above

Here’s a look at a range of heights and their healthy weight ranges based on BMI:

Height Healthy Weight in Pounds (BMI 18.5-24.9)
4 feet 10 inches 91-118
4 feet 11 inches 94-123
5 feet 97-127
5 feet 1 inch 100-131
5 feet 2 inches 104-135
5 feet 3 inches 107-140
5 feet 4 inches 110-144
5 feet 5 inches 114-149
5 feet 6 inches 118-154
5 feet 7 inches 121-158
5 feet 8 inches 125-163
5 feet 9 inches 128-168
5 feet 10 inches 132-173
5 feet 11 inches 136-178
6 feet 140-183
6 feet 1 inch 144-188
6 feet 2 inches 148-193
6 feet 3 inches 152-199
6 feet 4 inches 156-204

BMI does have limits, however. It may overestimate body fat in athletes and people who are muscular and underestimate body fat in older adults and those who have lost muscle.

What are average BMIs for women worldwide?

Average weights and BMIs for women vary around the world. As of 2016, the Polynesian island nation of Samoa had the highest average female BMI at 34.3. Ethiopia had the lowest on record at 21.1. The average for U.S. women in 2016 was 29.8.

Here’s a look at average women’s BMIs in countries worldwide:

Country Average BMI
Egypt 31.7
Belize 30.8
Iraq 29.9
Turkey 28.9
Bolivia 27.9
Belgium 25.7
Netherlands 25.3
Mozambique 23.5
Japan 21.8

How has average weight changed over time?

Over the last 20 years, American women, on average, have steadily gained weight. In 1999, the average woman weighed 163.8 pounds. Today she weighs around 171 pounds. That weight gain has applied to white, black, and Hispanic women. Asian women have not seen much change in their average weight.

With weight gain, BMI goes up too. As of 2016, the BMI of the average U.S. woman was 29.1—up from 28.2 in 1999.

These trends aren’t unique to the U.S. Obesity has almost tripled around the globe since 1975. Nearly 4 in 10 adults worldwide were overweight in 2016. More than one in 10 was obese. If you are concerned about your weight and the health problems it could cause, talk to your doctor.

References
(c)2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Rush University Medical Center: “How Much Should I Weigh?”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk.”

CDC: “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.”

BMC Public Health: “The weight of nations: an estimation of adult human biomass.”