Map of the Week: Who are the tallest people in Europe?

Article published on Aug. 17, 2016
Article published on Aug. 17, 2016

Your height can be influenced by a number of different factors – some of them are genetic, but others are environmental. So if you want to play professional basketball, you’d better pray to be born in the Netherlands…

According to the largest ever study of average heights across 200 different countries, the tallest men in the world are Dutch (at around 182.5cm) while the tallest women come from Latvia (around 170cm).

The study, which was published by the scientific journal eLife and organised by researchers at Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, used data from health surveys, epidemiological studies and even military conscription records to compare average heights across the world between 1914 and 2014.

The European Union dominated the top of the world rankings, with the Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and the Czech Republic appearing in the top 10 for both men and women. In fact, the only non-European country that made the top 25 for women or men was Australia.

The bottom of the list consisted mostly of countries from South-East Asia and Latin America. The shortest European men come from Portugal (in 75th place), while the shortest women come from Cyprus (in 57th place).

You might be expecting us to make a height joke here, but we don’t like height jokes at cafébabel. They’re not big and they’re not clever.

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Move the slider to see the different maps for men and women. Courtesy of eLife.

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This article is part of our Map of the Week series: charting the stats that matter to Europe, one map at a time.