Czechs Among World’s Tallest People

Czechs Among World’s Tallest People

A new eLIFE study titled “A century of trends in adult human height” was published this morning by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a group of hundreds of scientists who collaborate with the World Health Organization.

The study analyses average heights in nearly 200 countries across the world, and also compares them with heights from more than 100 years ago.



There have been some big swings in that regard. In 1914, American men measured the third tallest, and women the fourth tallest. In 2014 figures, they rank 37th and 42nd, respectively.

Today, the Netherlands claim the title of world’s tallest men, with an average height of 182.5cm. Latvian women rank at the top with 179.8cm.

Czech men rank among the top 10 tallest, sliding in at number 10 with an average height of 180.1cm. 

Rank – MenCountry2014 Height1914 Height
1Netherlands182.5169.4
2Belgium181.7167.2
3Estonia181.6170.9
4Latvia181.4169.4
5Denmark181.4170
6Bosnia and Herzegovina180.9168.4
7Croatia180.8168.1
8Serbia180.6167.4
9Iceland180.5170.5
10Czech Republic180.1168

That’s a pretty big jump; in 1914, Czech men ranked as the 24th tallest at 168cm.

Czech women, meanwhile, have surged even higher than their male counterparts, with an average height of 168.5cm. That makes them the fourth-tallest women in the world.

Since 1914, Czech women have grown nearly 14cm – 2cm more than the average man. A century ago, they ranked as the world’s 69th tallest with an average height of 152.8cm.

Rank – WomenCountry2014 Height1914 Height
1Latvia169.8155.5
2Estonia168.7156.5
3Netherlands168.7154.8
4Czech Republic168.5152.8
5Serbia167.7152
6Slovakia167.5155.6
7Denmark167.2157.2
8Lithuania166.6154.1
9Ukraine166.3154
10Belarus166.3154

What does the data mean, besides bragging rights?

“Being taller is associated with enhanced longevity, lower risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and higher risk of some cancers,” the study begins.

“There is also evidence that taller people on average have higher education, earnings, and possibly even social position.

Czechs might be in pretty good shape. Even if the height gains have also came with some weight gains in recent years.


Dave Park

David Park was born and raised in Baltimore and has been living in the Czech Republic since 2009 after studying journalism in Prague. No stranger to controversial topics, feel free to comment on his articles and let him know how you *really* feel.

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