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Average Height of a Woman in the United States

Average Height of a Woman in the United States

North American women are slightly taller than their southern counterparts. Know what is the average height of women in the United States, from this Buzzle article.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Height is probably the first thing you notice about a person. Height and stature of a person are the two things that make it possible to spot a person from over a long distance. Throughout the world, we see people of such varying heights, right from five footers to long and lanky ones, who are well above six feet. What causes such a huge variation in the heights of people? As a matter of fact, irrespective of the country, ethnicity, or geographic location, women are invariably shorter than men. Even among women, one can see a lot of variation in average height according to ethnicity and nation. North European women are generally tallest among the lot, while petite Asian women take the position at the shorter end of the spectrum. At 63.8 inches, women in the United States are fairly taller than most women in the world.

What is the Average Height of a Woman in the United States

Height of a person is measured from feet to top of the head. Length of the long bones in the body primarily contribute to the height of a person. Long bones in the body undergo a rapid growth during puberty. As puberty in women strikes at an early age as compared to men, girls are generally taller than boys of same age during early teen years. A woman attains full bone development by 18 years of age. It is unlikely for a woman's height to increase thereafter.

Height of a person is dependent upon several factors, such as, ethnicity, heredity, and some external factors. It has been observed that people with same ethnicity generally have height variations within 20% of average height for that ethnic group. Variations in height, which are above 20% of average height are indicative of a medical disorder. However, genetic composition also plays a vital role in determining the height of a person. People with tall or short ancestors may invariably inherit their height. Generally height of parents influences the height of their offspring.

Nutrition is another factor that contributes to the height of a person. As height and weight are indicative of the overall health of a person, the importance of nutrition in the growth of a person cannot be undermined. Women, in some poverty struck countries, are often deprived of good nutrition, which results in stunted growth. Certain geographical or political factors such as famines, constant wars also lead to poor growth of bones, which further leads to a height below average. However, these external factors can be ruled out when we talk about average height for women in the US, as most women here are well fed and generally lead a quite comfortable life.

According to the survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the average height of an American woman is approximately 64 inches or 5 ft 4 inches (164 cm). These figures are according to a survey conducted from year 1999 through 2002. The average height of the population undergoes a change in a couple of decades time. The average height of American women has increased from 5 ft 3'' in 1960 to 5 ft 4'' in 2004. The research only included healthy adult women in the age group of 20 to 29.

As mentioned above, height of women in the United States is likely to be influenced by so many different factors. White women are usually taller than their African-American counterparts. This, again is a general observation, hence, may not apply to everyone.