What Is the Average Height for an Adult Male in the US?

Growth and Development Basics

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Question: What is the average height for an adult male in the United States?

Answer: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average height for an adult male in the United States is:

  • 69.3 inches (176.1 cm), or
  • 5 feet 9.3 inches (1.76 m)

This statistic is from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 2007 to 2010.

Average Height Statistics Over Time

How has the average height of an adult male changed over the years?

Measurements of body mass index, weight, height, and even head circumference have been measured since the 1960s.

Not surprisingly, men in the United States have been getting taller.

In the early 1960s, a report stated that "men in the general civilian population average 68.2 inches in height." That's a little over an inch shorter than the average height of adult men today.

Even earlier reports of the average height of men in the United States include that:

  • Pilgrim men probably averaged about 66 inches (1620)
  • Native Americans averaged 68 inches (1800s)
  • Civil War soldiers averaged 67.7 inches (1863)
  • United States Senators averaged 69.5 inches (1866)
  • United States soldiers averaged 67.5 inches (1917)
  • United States army recruits averaged 68.1 inches (1943)

Will we keep growing taller?

Probably not.

Better health and nutrition, which was likely a big part of this growth spurt, can only go so far. In fact, many experts think that our height potential may have maxed out already.

Of course, immigration also influences height changes over time in a region.

Average Height Statistics Worldwide

How does the average height of 5 feet 9.3 inches compare to the average height in other countries?

We are kind of average...

In some countries, like the Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the average man is just over 6 feet tall.

In many others, including many countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, the average height is 5 feet 4 1/2 inches or less.

Average Height of Boys

The average height of a man is a good statistic to know as you wonder about your own child's growth, and why he isn't 6 feet tall. Not everyone is going to grow to be 6 feet tall. In fact, a lot more than half of people are shorter than 6 feet tall. That doesn't mean that they aren't growing well, need growth hormone, or that they are too short, though.

How well is your child growing? Is he above or below average?

Use our Kids Growth Chart Percentiles Calculator to see what percentile your child is growing on.

To figure out what the average height is for children, just check our Growth Charts and see what height is equal to the 50th percentile.

Or ask your pediatrician.

Sources:

Fryar, Cheryl D. CDC. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2007-2010. Vital and Health Statistics. Series 11, Number 252. October 2012.

Weight, Height, and Selected Body Dimensions of Adults. United States - 1960 -1962. Data from the National Health Survey. Series 11. No. 8.

Hathaway, Milicent L. Trends in Heights and Weights. Yearbook of Agriculture, 1959.

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