What Is the Average Height for Women?

In the U.S., the average height for women is about 5 feet 4 inches

Nurse measuring woman's height

Michael Jung / Getty Images

The average height for adult women varies around the world. In the United States, the average woman is a little under 5 feet 4 inches tall at 63.5 inches. This data is reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted from 2015 to 2018 and reported in January 2021.

The NHANES records various data on U.S. women in addition to height, such as mean weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. It even reports measurements on certain body parts, including the length of the upper arm and upper leg.

How Tall Will a Woman Become?

How tall a woman becomes is determined both by genetics and environmental factors like nutrition and physical health. Even mental health can have an impact on a woman's growth potential. Other factors can include ethnicity and age.

Average Female Height in the U.S.

The average height of women in the U.S. has some variations by ethnicity. The 2015—2018 NHANES reports the mean heights for women in five different ethnic categories.

Women's Height by Ethnicity in the U.S.
 Ethnicity Mean Height in Inches  Mean Height in Centimeters
 Non-Hispanic White  63.9 in (5 ft 3.9 in) 162.4 cm
 Non-Hispanic Black  64 in (5 ft 4 in) 162.5 cm
 Non-Hispanic Asian  61.5 in (5 ft 1.5 in) 156.3 cm
 Hispanic  62 in (5 ft 2 in) 157.5 cm
 Mexican American  61.7 in (5 ft 1.7 in) 156.8 cm

Height Changes Over Time

Getting an idea of how the height of women has changed over the years requires looking at earlier surveys. For instance, in the early 1900s, it was reported that women between the ages of 20 and 29 had an average height of 62.4 inches.

There have been substantial changes since then, mainly that women are getting taller. For example, by 1955, the average height for women was 64.3 inches, almost two full inches taller than 50 years before.

There is some question about the accuracy of historical surveys as they were done while the subjects wore shoes. Since the 1960s, measurements have been taken without shoes, seemingly making them more accurate.

Will women keep growing taller over time? It's not likely. Better health and nutrition, credited with a big part of the past increase in average height, can only go so far. Many experts think that the height potential may have maxed out already.

Immigration also influences changes in height over time in a specific region as people from areas with lower height averages enter the population.

Average Female Height Worldwide

Our World Data offers a list of mean heights for women from various countries and reports that the average height for women globally is 63 inches (5 feet 3 inches).

This table shares a few of the mean heights reported for females in several countries. As you will notice, there is a wide variance in mean female height depending on what country she is from.

Mean Female Height by Country
 Country Mean Height in Inches   Mean Height in Centimeters
 Argentina 62.7 in (5 ft 2.7 in) 159.2 cm
 Australia 65.3 in (5 ft 5.3 in) 165.9 cm
 Bermuda 63.3 in (5 ft 3.3 in) 160.7 cm
 China 62.9 in (5 ft 2.9 in) 159.7 cm
 Ethiopia 61.3 in (5 ft 1.3 in) 155.7 cm
 India 60.1 in (5 ft 0.1 in) 152.6 cm
 Mexico 61.8 in (5 ft 1.8 in) 156.9 cm
Nigeria 61.5 in (5 ft 1.5 in) 156.3 cm
North Korea 62.6 in (5 ft 2.6 in) 159.0 cm
Russia 65.1 in (5 ft 5.1 in) 165.3 cm
South Asia 60.4 in (5 ft 0.4 in) 153.3 cm
United Kingdom 64.7 in (5 ft 4.7 in) 164.4 cm

Our World Data further reports that, like in the U.S., women's heights have increased worldwide over the past 100 years. Some countries show gains in women's heights of more than 12 cm during this time, which is roughly 4.7 inches.

How to Accurately Measure Height

When you visit a healthcare provider, your height is usually taken with a stadiometer, an instrument often attached to a scale and measures your height based on where its metal flap rests on top of your head. This is the gold standard for measuring height.

However, you can accurately measure your height at home with a few simple tools. Assistance can be helpful but is not necessary. You will need a pencil with an eraser and a metal measuring tape.

  • Stand on a hard, uncarpeted surface with your heels against the wall. Make sure your shoes are off.
  • Ensure your entire backside is making contact with the wall, including heels, calves, buttocks, shoulders, and your head.
  • Place the pencil on top of your head and make a light mark to note where along the wall the top of your head reaches. You can use a piece of painter's tape if you do not want to mark the wall.
  • Using the metal measuring tape, measure the distance from the floor to the mark you made on the wall. This is your height.

Height can be measured using English or metric measurements. Make sure to erase the pencil mark when you are finished!

Average Height of Female Children and Teens

If you have a female child or teen, you may wonder how their height compares to national averages. NHANES data separates mean height by age, providing information for children as young as two up to 19 years old.

For example, the mean height of 2-year-old females is 35.4 inches. At 10 years old, the mean height rises to 56.3 inches. Female teens who are 14 years old have a mean height of 63.7 inches.

Your pediatrician can assess how your child compares to other children her age with growth charts. If you have any concerns, they can address those issues and provide guidance regarding your child's health.

A Word From Verywell

The average height of women is a way to monitor general health and living conditions for a population, but it is not the only factor to consider. The biggest factor is how tall a woman will be is a combination of genetics and environmental factors like nutrition, and physical and mental health.

8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Fryar CD, Carroll MD, Gu Q, Afful J, Ogden C. Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2015-2018. Vital Health Stat. 2021;3(46):1-44.

  2. Jelenkovic A, Sund R, Hur YM, et al. Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Sci Rep. 2016;6:28496. doi:10.1038/srep28496

  3. Sheppard P, Garcia JR, Sear R. Childhood family disruption and adult height: is there a mediating role of puberty? Evol Med Public Health. 2015;2015(1):332-342. doi:10.1093/emph/eov028

  4. Quitmann JH, Bullinger M, Sommer R, Rohenkohl AC, Bernardino Da Silva NM. Associations between psychological problems and quality of life in pediatric short stature from patients’ and parents’ perspectives. PLoS One. 2016;11(4):e0153953. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153953

  5. Hathaway ML. Trends in heights and weights. Yearbook of Agriculture. 1959:181-5.

  6. Stoudt HW, Damon A, McFarland R, Roberts J. Weight, height, and selected body dimensions of adults: United States 1960 -1962. Data from the National Health Survey. 1965;11(8):1-52.

  7. Our World in Data. Human height.

  8. Forseth B, Davis AM, Bakula DM, et al. Validation of remote height and weight assessment in a rural randomized clinical trial. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2022;22:185. doi:10.1186/s12874-022-01669-8

By Vincent Iannelli, MD
Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for children for more than 20 years.