Have you ever wondered if there are places in the world where the majority of the population is exceedingly tall, or if it’s just a myth?
It might sound uncanny, but the average height of the population is indeed higher in some countries than others, and this is influenced by a number of factors.
Let’s have a look at the latest reports of the countries with the tallest people.
List of Countries with the Tallest People
1. The Netherlands
Well, this country lives up to the expectation. Dutch people are always joked about as being the tallest in the world, and survey data has shown that this is, indeed, true. Men from the Netherlands are on average 182.53 cm tall, while women are 168.72 cm tall.
There are many jokes and stories about the Netherlands being the tallest country in the world. This could be linked to genes as well as diet – we know they have a very dairy-heavy diet. Moreover, Dutch people are famous for having a healthy lifestyle with a lot of exercise, as cycling is extremely popular there and the primary mode of transport in cities like Amsterdam. It’s not clear whether all these factors lead to the height of people, but they might play a role.
This small Baltic country comes the second tallest country in the world for the average height of its citizens. On average, men are 181.42 cm tall and women are 169.79 cm tall. This makes Latvian women taller than the Dutch, and it’s no wonder we see quite a lot of runway models hailing from Baltic countries, when you see their height!
Keeping on with the Baltic tradition, Estonians are the third tallest in the world.
The Danish are also very tall on average: the average Danish man is 181.38 cm tall and the average woman is 167.21 cm tall.
5. The Czech Republic
The Czechs have a tradition of tall women who made successful international fashion models. This is because Czech women are as tall as 168.45 cm tall on average! Men also measure c. 180 cm on average.
It’s believed that genetics and diet support Europeans when it comes to growing tall. In the former Yugoslavia, this is definitely the case, as we encounter both Serbians and Bosnians among the tallest people in the world. In Serbia, they not only have the Slavic genes, but also a combination of Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. There is a strong love of sports and the outdoors, which also contributes to children growing tall at an early age, as well as a diet heavy on dairy.
Another cycling country, Belgium is home to people who are on average, 173.59 cm tall, making the Belgium the 7th country with the tallest people in the world. Outside of France, Belgians have the most Tour de France victories, which shows how popular cycling is in this country.
Belgium is also well-known for using a lot of dairy products in its diet, like cheese and mayonnaise on chips.
Height is often associated with the health and well-being of a nation, and the cases of the Czech Republic and Slovakia actually illustrate this. Since splitting up into two separate states, both countries have seen the average height of their citizens increase. Studies have shown that income and healthy diets make an important difference in average height. In Slovakia, democracy and capitalism have brought with them rising incomes and a marked increase in average heights, especially for women. As such, Slovakian women are, on average, 167.46 cm tall, while Slovakian men are 179.50 cm tall.
9. Bosnia and Herzegovina
War and hardship may have rocked the recent history of this country, but it hasn’t impacted the genetics and healthy lifestyles and diets of the people in it. The average overall height of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 173.35 cm – men are 180.87 cm and women, 165.84 cm on average. Sports such as volleyball are very popular in Bosnia, and the lifestyle of people here is very much in line with the other countries on the list: healthy and active.
Icelandic men and women have long been held to symbolise the strong, powerful people of a rough country, so it’s no wonder we all expect them to be strong and big!
In the Game of Thrones series, we met Hafthor Julius Björnsson, a World’s Strongest Man athlete and also actor playing The Mountain, given his impressive stature at 206 cm. This cements the idea of tall, strong Icelanders, and it’s supported by the statistics: Icelandic men are 180.49 cm tall on average, and Icelandic women are 165.94 cm tall on average.
Carrying on with the trend of Slavic genes set in a Mediterranean climate and with a healthy diet, Croats are some of the tallest people in the world. On average, Croatian men are 180.78 cm tall and women measure 165.63 cm.
We already know that Balkan countries do very well in sports such as basketball, volleyball and handball, which all involve height, and this may be another reason why people in these countries are as tall as they are, given the sports they practise.
Rounding up the Balkan countries with tall people, Slovenia is the home of a population which averages 172.92 cm in height. Slovenians enjoy outdoor pursuits and have amazing mountains to do this in, and they eat a very healthy diet. But, of course, they are part of the same gene pool as the other tall countries listed here too. Finally, one in 20 Slovenes keep bees – could honey be an influencing dietary factor in height?
Although statistically, these countries have the highest average height per population, the world’s record holders for height, both man and woman, are not from any of them. The world’s tallest man at the time of writing is Sultan Kösen from Turkey, measuring 251 cm. As for women, the tallest official lady is Chinese: Sun Fang is 221 cm tall.
I hope that this article on countries with the tallest people in the world was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Country Rankings Page!