Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Two girls, very different in height, giving each other a high five

How tall are Dutch people?

According to their own statements, men aged 19 years who were born in the Netherlands in 2020 are on average 182.9 cm tall. Women of the same age born in the Netherlands measure 169.3 cm. During the course of the last century we have kept growing taller, but after 1980 this growth seemed to have ceased.

How tall are Dutch people?Born in1930Born in1980Born in1960Born in2001175.6 cm183.9 cm182.9 cm181.7 cm169.3 cm170.7 cm168.5 cm165.4 cm

Generation born around 1980 the tallest

Men born in 1930 were 175.6 cm tall on average, those born in 1980 attained a height of 183.9 cm. In other words, men have grown an average of 8.3 cm taller in fifty years. Women have also grown considerably taller. The generation of women from 1930 attained an average height of 165.4 cm; those born in 1980 grew to 170.7 cm, almost 5.3 cm taller. For generations born after the early 1980s, growth in height has stopped. Men born in 2001 were on average 1 cm shorter than the generation from 1980, women on average 1.4 cm.

Development of average body height by year of birth, 1930-2001 (Height at age 19, in cm1)
birth year Men Women
1930 175.6 165.4
1931 175.6 166
1932 175.7 166
1933 176.5 166.6
1934 176.2 166
1935 176.3 165.7
1936 176.3 165.7
1937 176.6 165.9
1938 176.5 166.1
1939 177.2 166.3
1940 177.3 166
1941 177.5 166.2
1942 177.6 166.4
1943 177.6 166.6
1944 178 166.5
1945 178 166.5
1946 178.8 166.7
1947 179 166.8
1948 179.2 166.9
1949 179.6 167
1950 179.4 166.8
1951 179.9 167
1952 179.9 167
1953 180.1 167.2
1954 180.4 167.4
1955 180.8 167.6
1956 181 167.7
1957 181.1 167.9
1958 181.4 168
1959 181.6 168.2
1960 181.7 168.5
1961 181.8 168.6
1962 182 168.6
1963 182.1 168.9
1964 182.5 169.1
1965 182.8 169.3
1966 183 169.6
1967 183.1 169.7
1968 183.3 169.9
1969 183.4 170.1
1970 183.5 170.1
1971 183.5 170.2
1972 183.4 170.2
1973 183.5 170.2
1974 183.6 170.3
1975 183.5 170.4
1976 183.8 170.4
1977 183.8 170.4
1978 183.5 170.6
1979 183.8 170.7
1980 183.9 170.7
1981 183.7 170.3
1982 183.8 170.5
1983 183.6 170.4
1984 183.4 170.3
1985 183.4 170.2
1986 183.4 170
1987 183.3 170
1988 183.4 169.9
1989 183.3 169.8
1990 183.4 169.7
1991 183.1 169.8
1992 183.1 169.5
1993 183.2 169.5
1994 183.2 169.4
1995 183.3 169.6
1996 182.8 169.5
1997 183.2 169.5
1998 183.3 169.5
1999 183.6 169.5
2000 183.4 169.5
2001 182.9 169.3
1 The figures for the last cohort (birth year 2001) indicate the average height of a 19-year-old person in 2020.

21 percent of men taller than 190 cm

In the early 1950s, tall men were still very unusual. No more than 3 percent of the generation from 1930–1934 reached a height of at least 190 cm. In 2020, more than 1 in 5 young men were at least 190 cm tall, 7 percent were at least 195 cm tall. A height of less than 175 cm was quite normal for a man in the 1950s: 42 percent of young men were shorter than 175 cm. This height is less common in today’s society: 12 percent of young men are shorter than 175 cm.

Development of average male height (%)
birth cohort shorter than 175 cm 175-179 cm 180-184 cm 185-189 cm 190-194 cm taller than 194 cm
1930-1934 42.3 26.2 19.4 8.8 2.7 0.6
1935-1939 38.5 27 20.3 10.2 3.2 0.8
1940-1944 33.5 25.8 23.9 11.2 4.6 1
1945-1949 26.3 25.4 25.7 15.1 5.7 1.8
1950-1954 21.4 25.5 26.7 16.9 7 2.5
1955 -1959 16.4 23 28.2 20 9 3.4
1960-1964 13.9 20.7 28.2 22 10.6 4.5
1965-1969 10.8 18.4 27.4 24.7 12.5 6.1
1970-1974 10.6 17.2 27 24.4 13.7 7.1
1975-1979 9.3 18.8 25.6 24.7 13.9 7.8
1980-1984 9.9 16.9 27.3 24.3 13.5 8.1
1985-1989 11.1 17.7 25.3 25.3 13.2 7.3
1990-1994 11.9 17.9 25.9 23.6 13.5 7.2
1995-1999 11.5 17.7 26.5 24.1 13.1 7.1
2000-2001 11.7 16.8 27.1 23.8 13.4 7.1

The picture is similar for women. In around 1950, a woman who was 180 cm tall was still rare. Less than 2 percent of the female generation from the 1930s attained this height. Nowadays, you see more tall women walking around. Almost 1 in 10 girls born around 1980 is at least 180 cm tall. This number is declining somewhat in the youngest generation.

Development of average female height (%)
birth cohort shorter than 160 cm 160-164 cm 165-169 cm 170-174 cm 175-179 cm taller than 179 cm
1930-1934 14.5 22 34.5 20 7.6 1.5
1935-1939 15.1 22.8 33.8 19.5 7.4 1.4
1940-1944 12.7 22.9 33.5 21.2 8 1.7
1945-1949 11.8 22.3 33.2 21.4 9.1 2.2
1950-1954 11.1 21.4 32.9 22 9.9 2.8
1955 -1959 9.3 19 32.4 23.7 11.9 3.7
1960-1964 6.8 18.3 30.1 25.7 14 5.1
1965-1969 5.3 14.1 30 27.5 16.2 6.9
1970-1974 4.8 13.8 27.3 28.8 17.1 8.3
1975-1979 4.6 12.8 26.6 27.5 19.6 8.9
1980-1984 5.1 12.7 26.9 27.8 18.3 9.2
1985-1989 5.6 14 27.6 27.2 17.2 8.3
1990-1994 6.1 15.7 27.9 26.4 16.5 7.5
1995-1999 6.4 16.6 27.1 25.7 16.7 7.5
2000-2001 7.1 16 26.8 26.4 16.7 7.2

The questions

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Infographics

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek

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Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

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Gert Jan Wijma

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Taalcentrum VU

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