What Is the Average Height for a Male?

Updated April 17, 2017

The average height of a man varies greatly by nationality and ethnicity. Cultural and economic factors can have a significant influence on how tall a man will be. Age also has an influence, since men can lose some of their height later in life.

Height of United States Men

The average height of an American man between the ages of 20 and 29 is 5 feet, 9.9 inches tall. There is some variation in male heights by ethnicity. For instance, white Americans from age 20 to 29 measure at an average of 5 feet, 10.4 inches tall and African-Americans measure at 5 feet, 10.1 inches. Mexican-Americans average 5 feet, 7.2 inches.

Tallets Average Heights

When you look at the average heights of men in individual countries, European nations jump out as overwhelmingly as having taller men. For instance, Dutch men between the ages of 25 and 45 have an average height of 6 feet. Swedes measure 5 feet, 11.5 inches, Germans measure 5 feet, 11.3 inches tall and Danes measure 5 feet, 11.1 inches tall. Men in Turkey are also quite large, measuring an average of 5 feet, 11.3 inches tall.

Shortest Average Heights

The shorter men in the world tend to be found in emerging Asian nations. Indonesians average 5 feet, 2.2 inches tall, although this is a measure of average height for men 50 and older. Vietnamese men age 25 to 29 average 5 feet, 3.8 inches tall and rural Indian men 17 and older average 5 feet, 3.5 inches tall.

Reasons for Height Variation

There are two primary factors that influence the variation of height from nation to nation and region to region. Genetics has about 60 to 80 per cent of the influence on variation. Nutrition and some other environmental factors have about 20 to 40 per cent influence, as molecular biologist Chao-Qiang Lai was quoted in the December 11, 2006, issue of "Scientific American."

Economic Conditions

Good nutrition in a population can lead to taller average heights. This fact could explain why wealthy European nations have such tall average heights, while Asian countries like Indonesia and India, which have large impoverished, undernourished portions of their population, have such shorter average heights.

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About the Author

James McGill is an award-winning, Boston-base journalist and media professional with 13 years of experience in the academic book publishing, magazine, newspaper and web industry. His expertise extends from politics to information technology.