This may not come as much of a surprise, but a recent study published by medical journal The Lancet has confirmed that the world’s tallest children and teenagers can be found in the Netherlands.
Dutch 19-year-olds are the tallest in the world
The study examined data collected from 200 countries around the world, assessing the height of around 65 million children between the ages of five and 30. According to research conducted this year, the average height for Dutch 19-year-olds is 1,83 metres for men, and 1,70 for women.
To put these averages into context: 19-year-old girls in Guatemala, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Timor-Leste had the same average height as 11-year-old Dutch girls, and 19-year-old boys in a number of countries across Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa had the same average height as 13-year-old Dutch boys.
And the smallest children? Well, they can be found in East Timor (averaging 1,60 metres), while the smallest women are from Guatemala (1,50 metres). Interestingly, while the Netherlands might be home to the tallest people, the average height of the Dutch population isn’t rising as fast as it was in the mid-to-late 20th century. Other countries, such as China and India, are continuing to see the average height rise.
Why are Dutch people so tall?
Over the last few decades, the Netherlands has developed an international reputation for being home to some of the tallest people in the world. But why are the Dutch so tall? Scientists can’t seem to agree on one set answer, and it seems to be a mixture of a couple of factors, namely high-protein diets and natural selection.