The Dutch are still the world’s tallest people with the average man hitting 6ft, study finds


The Dutch are shrinking: World’s tallest people are getting smaller due to poor diet and immigration, study finds

  • Dutch people born in 2001 are shorter than those born in 1980, a study has found
  • The average 19-year-old man is 6ft tall, while the typical woman stands at 5ft 7in
  • Factors including immigration and diet are likely to be responsible for change


The Dutch are getting smaller… but luckily for them, they’re still taller than everybody else on Earth.

Dutch people born in 2001 are shorter than those born in 1980, a study by the country’s statistics office has found.

The average 19-year-old man in the Netherlands today is 6ft tall (182.9cm), while the typical woman is 5ft 7in (169.3cm).

Dutch people born in 2001 are shorter than those born in 1980, a study by the country’s statistics office has found. Pictured: Participants are being measured during a world record attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records with the largest group of tall people in Utrecht in 2019

Factors including immigration and diet are likely to be responsible for the change in height, which reverses a century and a half of rapid growth, the study said.

‘In the course of the last century we have become taller and taller, but since 1980 the growth has stopped,’ it said.

‘The men born in 2001 were on average 1 cm shorter than the generation from 1980, women 1.4 cm on average.’

The average 19-year-old man in the Netherlands today is 6ft tall (182.9cm), while the typical woman is 5ft 7in (169.3cm). Pictured: The Utrecht event

The average 19-year-old man in the Netherlands today is 6ft tall (182.9cm), while the typical woman is 5ft 7in (169.3cm). Pictured: The Utrecht event

But all is not lost. ‘The Netherlands is still the tallest nation in the world,’ the Central Bureau for Statistics said in a statement.

Dutchmen rank first above Montenegro, Estonia and Bosnia, while the women are above Montenegro, Denmark and Iceland, it said.

The smallest men are in East Timor while the smallest women are in Guatemala.

The full reasons for the Dutch comedown are not entirely clear, as is the question of why they are so tall in the first place.

A popular myth – that the cheese-loving Dutch consume a lot of dairy products – is discounted by scientists.

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