What Is the Average Weight for Women?

Average Weight for Women

Verywell / Amelia Manley

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While it's possible to be healthy at any size, it's important to know whether your current weight is right for you. Whether you suspect that you are overweight or underweight, you can use this information to minimize your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

To determine a healthy weight for yourself, knowing the average weight of women based on factors like age and height can often serve as a baseline comparison. However, just because a certain range is an average does not necessarily mean that it's the right target weight for you. This number is best decided with input from a healthcare provider. Here is what you need to know about the average weight for women.

Average Weight for Adult Women

The number on a scale is not always the best indicator in determining whether or not you are at a healthy weight for you. Other factors, such as your body mass index (BMI), can give some additional insight into your weight.

Your BMI score takes into account your height as well as your weight and is measured on a scale that includes the following categories underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity. This BMI calculator can give you an estimate. You also can look at charts to help give you some additional insight.

However, it's important to keep in mind that BMI is not a perfect measure. Variables such as age, sex, muscle tone, athleticism, body frame size, and pregnancy can sometimes produce misleading BMI results. And in general, women usually have more body fat than men.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a dated, biased measure that doesn’t account for several factors, such as body composition, ethnicity, race, gender, and age.

Despite being a flawed measure, BMI is widely used today in the medical community because it is an inexpensive and quick method for analyzing potential health status and outcomes.

U.S. Averages

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average weight of adult women aged 20 years and older in the U.S. is 170.6 pounds with an average height of about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. In addition, the average waist circumference is 38.6 inches and BMI is 29.2, which falls within the overweight range.

Average weight for a 5'4" female

  • Height in inches: 63.5
  • Weight in pounds: 170.8
  • Waist circumference in inches: 38.7

These statistics are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 2015-2016. The national average is up from 168.5 pounds as noted in the previous survey (2011-2014). The chart below shows the average weight for adult women in the U.S. according to different age groups.

Average Weight for American Women by Age
Age Group Average Weight
20–39 167.6 pounds
40–59 176.4 pounds
60 and up 166.5 pounds

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute indicates that a healthy weight for a woman who is 5 feet, 4 inches tall ranges from 110 to 140 pounds with a BMI of 19 to 24. A woman whose BMI score is above 25 falls in the overweight category and 30 and above falls in the obesity category.

Global Averages

When both men and women are factored into the equation, the adult population of North America has a higher average BMI than the rest of the world. One study notes that 73.9% of people in North America are considered overweight, compared to 34.7% of the world population. Here's a closer look at the average weight for adult women in different regions of the world.

Average Weight for Adult Women Around the World
Region Average Weight
Asia 127 pounds
Europe 156 pounds
Africa 133 pounds
Latin America/Caribbean 149 pounds
North America 177 pounds
Oceania 163 pounds
World 136 pounds

Average Weight for Girls

As with adults, the average weight for girls does not necessarily correlate to the range considered to be healthy. According to the CDC, one in five children falls within the obesity category, which is evident in the national averages listed below. Here are the average weights at each age for girls.

Average Weight for American Girls
Age Average Weight
1 year 24.7 pounds
2 years 29.3 pounds
3 years 34.6 pounds
4 years 40.3 pounds
5 years 45.0 pounds
6 years 52.5 pounds
7 years 58.6 pounds
8 years 69.9 pounds
9 years 82.7 pounds
10 years 91.1 pounds
11 years 104.5 pounds
12 years 123.0 pounds
13 years 122.4 pounds
14 years 131.4 pounds
15 years 141.8 pounds
16 years 143.3 pounds
17 years 148.6 pounds
18 years 148.2 pounds
19 years 151.0 pounds

For a more accurate gauge of your child's weight, use a kids' growth chart. Comparing a child to the 50th percentile will give you a better idea of how their growth compares to the average growth rate for other children their age. You can also use this BMI calculator for children and adolescents provided by the CDC.

Averages Over Time

How has the average weight and body composition of adults in the U.S. changed over the years? Measurements of BMI, weight, height, and even head circumference have been taken since the 1960s.

For instance, one research report published in 1966 stated that "American men range in average weight from 146 pounds at 62 inches in height to 190 pounds at 73 inches; while for American women this average progresses from 129 pounds at 58 inches to 157 pounds at 67 inches."

Since at least the 1960s, both men and women in the U.S. have been getting larger in both height and weight. Obesity has increased rapidly among women since 1980.

Knowing the average weight for women and younger girls can help you determine your healthy or ideal weight. While the average weight for women in any country can tell you a lot about weight trends, it should not be used as the only gauge for assessing your current weight and overall health. There are several individual factors that will play a role in your ideal target weight.

Remember that you can be healthy at any size, especially if you prioritize healthy lifestyle factors such as following a balanced diet filled with nutrient-dense, whole foods, and getting regular exercise.

If you're concerned about whether you might be overweight or underweight, talk to your healthcare provider. They may refer you to a registered dietitian or nutritionist or recommend that you work with a personal trainer to help you meet your health goals.

10 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.
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Additional Reading

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.