According to a new research report led by scientists from the Imperial College of London, the average Indian is taller than his/her parents. However, as a whole, India continues to fall short of the global average.
Between 1914 and 2014, the average height of Indian men increased by about 3 centimeters, reaching 165 centimeters—or 5 feet 5 inches—while the average height of Indian women grew taller by 5 centimeters to 153 centimeters or 5 feet 1 inch.
The significant growth in height among Indian women hasn’t helped them in their global rankings, as they are still among the shortest people by nationality in the world. Indian men were ranked 178 among 200 in 2014, while Indian women stood at 192. In 1914, Indian men were 101 on the ranking, while women were at 163.
Experts claim that diet likely plays a heavy role in the comparably short population of India, which has one of the highest undernutrition and malnutrition levels in the world.
By contrast, the height of women in many of India’s neighboring countries increased substantially over the century. In Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, for example, the average height of women increased by 9.3 centimeters. Though the situation improved after independence, as reflected in the increased height, India hasn’t kept up with other countries.
The study, which used data from most countries across the globe, also determined that South Korean women and Iranian men have shown the largest height growth this century, with Iranian men having increased by an average of 16.5 centimeters, approximately 6.5 inches; and South Korean women having grown 20.2 centimeters, approximately 8 inches.
The world’s tallest males hail from Netherlands, while the world’s tallest women hail from Latvia. The research also revealed the once-tall Americans have declined from third tallest men and fourth tallest women in the world in 1914 to 37th and 42nd place respectively in 2014. Overall, the top ten tallest nations in 2014 for men and women were dominated by European countries and featured no English-speaking nation.
Topping the list at number one is the Netherlands, with an average height is 1.838 meters, or just over 6 feet. Montenegro comes in at a close second with an average height of 1.832 meters, also just over 6 feet. Denmark trails behind with an average height of 1.826 meters, just under 6 feet. Norway comes in at fourth with 1.824 m, also just under 6 feet. Serbia ranks in at number five with an average of 1.82 meters. Germany (1.81 meters), Croatia (1.805 meters), Czech Republic (1.8031 meters), Slovenia (1.803 meters), and Luxembourg (1.799 meters), come in at sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth tallest nations in the world, respectively.
To view the study and the full list of the countries, click here.