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Countries With the Shortest People

Which countries have the shortest citizens, according to a comprehensive study by the Imperial College of London?
Source data can be found here
Based on average of male and female height for people born in 1996
Quiz by TerapiaDeShock
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Last updated: May 1, 2020
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First submittedMay 1, 2020
Times taken47,058
Average score50.0%
Rating4.45
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Male
Female
Country
159.8 (5′3)
151.2 (5′0)
East Timor
160.5 (5′3)
151.3 (5′0)
Laos
161.5 (5′4)
151.2 (5′0)
Madagascar
163.4 (5′4)
149.4 (5′0)
Guatemala
163.2 (5′4)
149.6 (5′0)
Philippines
162.3 (5′4)
150.9 (5′0)
Nepal
159.9 (5′3)
154.0 (5′1)
Yemen
162.8 (5′4)
151.3 (5′0)
Marshall Islands
163.8 (5′5)
150.8 (5′0)
Bangladesh
163.3 (5′4)
152.9 (5′0)
Cambodia
Male
Female
Country
163.6 (5′4)
152.8 (5′0)
Indonesia
162.2 (5′4)
154.4 (5′1)
Malawi
162.7 (5′4)
154.8 (5′1)
Rwanda
164.9 (5′5)
152.6 (5′0)
India
164.4 (5′5)
153.6 (5′1)
Vietnam
165.2 (5′5)
152.9 (5′0)
Peru
163.6 (5′4)
154.9 (5′1)
Papua New Guinea
164.1 (5′5)
154.4 (5′1)
Solomon Islands
164.8 (5′5)
154.0 (5′1)
Mozambique
165.3 (5′5)
153.6 (5′1)
Bhutan
61 Comments
+15
Level 59
May 1, 2020
Cool quiz!
+14
Level 56
May 1, 2020
Thank you; it is very cool to have one of my favourite quiz-makers comment on my quiz!
+33
Level 75
May 1, 2020
I found this one to be much more difficult than the other way around.
+54
Level 85
May 1, 2020
"Tall families are all alike; every short family is short in its own way." --Leo Tolstoy
+8
Level 85
May 1, 2020
Guatemala really stands out. None of the other countries nearby are on the list, but it's right near the top.
+30
Level 76
May 3, 2020
Roughly half the population seem to be pure indigenous (esp. Mayan). Without checking, I'm guessing it's the highest % in the area.
+7
Level 56
May 5, 2020
It is indeed the highest % in the area.
+14
Level 82
May 28, 2020
I went to a market there in a town called Solala. Stalls covered with blankets. I struggled, my ex-wife is 5'2", she was the tallest woman there, I'm 6'2". I felt like Yao Ming. The women weren't remotely close to 5ft tall. There must be a lot of Spanish descendants in Guatemala City that I didn't see!
+12
Level 82
Aug 9, 2020
I'm 6'6" imagine my experiences in the Philippines and Vietnam.
+17
Level 69
Nov 24, 2023
Nobody asked
+3
Level 56
Feb 6, 2024
I'm only an inch shorter than you and absolutely no-one cared when I was in SE Asia. Just another tourist, in their eyes. Except for northern Thailand (Roi Et).
+1
Level 82
Aug 9, 2020
Lots of Guatemalans around the area of Virginia where I grew up and they are tiny tiny people.
+1
Level 56
Oct 9, 2022
I guessed Guatemala because when I was in college, we had a lot of students from there in our dorm, and they were sooo tiny! And I am not a tall person.
+2
Level 68
May 5, 2020
I'm just under 5'2. I liked visiting Japan as I felt normal height there (I was surprised Japan wasn't on this list). My 6'2 husband felt like a giant.
+3
Level 56
May 5, 2020
Japan is not featured in the 25 shortest countries in the world list but according to a different source the average height for men aged 17 in Japan is 170.7cm(5'7) and for women it is 160.3cm(5'3).
+4
Level 82
Aug 9, 2020
When I was in Japan I noticed some REALLY small people there, who were normally proportioned but otherwise could have been midgets. However, the average person is not that short. In East Asia heights seem to diminish the closer you get to the equator. Perhaps its the stronger pull of gravity there.
+3
Level 82
Aug 9, 2020
Come to think of it this is true in Europe, too. And to some extent in South America. Maybe there's something to this theory. Hmm...

(I am kidding, people)

+10
Level 76
Aug 9, 2020
Possibly because larger (and therefore taller) people have a lower surface area to volume ratio. That makes them lose less body heat, which helps in colder areas.
+4
Level 75
Aug 9, 2020
I used to be 5'6" but now I am 5' 4 1/2" due to aging processes. I wonder if the average age of a country's population makes any difference on these stats.
+2
Level 71
Aug 9, 2020
ander217: It says people born in 1996 at the top of the quiz.
+3
Level 93
Aug 9, 2020
I have read that it is linked to meat consumption. As there has been a trend in Japan to eat a more western meat-based diet, average height has increased. No source readily available to back that up but it is a possible explanation.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2020
Increased variety in your diet and better nutrition definitely factor. But that's not the whole story.
+1
Level 70
Oct 7, 2022
Doesn't work unfortunately as gravity is actually weaker at the equator, not stronger. I would have thought genetics were the biggest factor followed by nutrition (or health more generally).
+5
Level 73
Aug 9, 2020
I'm 6'3 but didn't notice Japanese people being especially short, I'm more surprised that Myanmar isn't listed.

I remember in Yangon, standing in an elevator with 15 other people. One of the sides was a full length mirror and it looked like I was standing in the elevator full of children. I was at least 1 1/2 foot taller than everyone.

+2
Level 67
Oct 7, 2022
I'm 6'1, Japanese, but it isn't rare to find taller people than me in Japan. Some young Japanese people are really tall.

And I've already heard that height statistics in Western countries are quite twisted, due to the measurement done by wearing shoes or sometimes self-reported.

+3
Level 82
Jun 10, 2020
A lot of overlap with the quiz I made on the subject, though it doesn't line up perfectly. Bolivia, Colombia, North Korea, Nicaragua, Bahrain, Malaysia, and Comoros mysteriously absent from this one; East Timor, Laos, Yemen, and the Oceania island nations didn't appear on my own.
+1
Level 49
Apr 28, 2024
I was surprised - and thrown off too - when my first answer "North Korea" wasn't on the list. Oh no, I thought, this is gonna be much tougher than i thought!
+1
Level 50
Aug 9, 2020
come on I wrote marshall and solomon, can you accept those too?
+4
Level 56
Aug 11, 2020
This quiz uses the same type-ins as the 'countries of the world quiz' and neither 'marshall' nor 'solomon' are accepted in that quiz so I'm afraid they aren't in this one either.
+1
Level 65
Jun 1, 2021
Actually they're EXIST in this quiz.

Either.

+9
Level 50
Aug 9, 2020
also this quiz was hard because they were really spread out geographically, sometimes if I find one country I guess the countries that border it
+4
Level 56
Aug 11, 2020
I definitely think this quiz is a lot tougher than the tallest people one due to that fact.
+8
Level 47
Aug 9, 2020
I'm surprised Bolivia didn't make the cut! I'm 5'7" and growing up in Bolivia I thought I was quite tall. When I moved to the USA (and later South Korea, and later the UK), I was thoroughly disabused of this notion.
+2
Level 61
Aug 9, 2020
I guessed the poorest countries I could think of. Would be interesting to see how height tracks with food security.
+4
Level 78
Aug 10, 2021
I don't think that's necessarily a major factor. Only 3 african nations are represented on here. I think the poor nation of Senegal has the tallest people on average.
+1
Level 73
Oct 7, 2022
There's definitely still some influence even though it's not the biggest factor, as Yemen's appearance here seems to show.
+2
Level 70
Oct 7, 2022
I remember reading an article about height in Yemen, and the conclusion was that people are on average quite short thanks to poor nutrition, mountainous terrain and low genetic diversity.
+2
Level 57
Aug 9, 2020
Wow, what an interesting quiz!
+3
Level 85
Aug 10, 2020
Bergmann's Rule is a thing.
+3
Level 56
Aug 11, 2020
It definitely does seem to apply here to some extent, although Bhutan and Nepal are big exceptions.
+12
Level 75
Aug 10, 2020
Micronesia?
+1
Level 50
Aug 10, 2020
hahahah :D
+3
Level 28
Aug 11, 2020
Where's China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and especially North Korea with malnutrision and avitaminosis.
+22
Level 65
Aug 16, 2020
The people of North Korea are the tallest, most physically powerful and best led people on planet earth. And their government-provided numbers surely reflect these true facts.
+8
Level 65
Feb 9, 2021
Ok, calm down Mr. Kim
+2
Level 66
Oct 7, 2022
You're talking about real people here, insulting them in an indirect way.
+5
Level 81
Oct 7, 2022
It’s not like they’ll ever read this…
+2
Level 52
Aug 13, 2020
Loved this - intriguing. I first went to far eastern countries and learned that didn't work. Didn't get them all (how'd Guatemala get in there???), but didn't do too badly. Thanks!
+1
Level 73
Oct 7, 2022
Someone else said above that Guatemala is probably due to the high indigenous population. Around 50% of the country is Mayan.
+1
Level 79
Aug 16, 2020
Just missed on Guatemala
+1
Level 81
Oct 2, 2020
Maybe I should consider moving to East Timor. I'd finally be considered tall, or at least not short...
+1
Level 74
Feb 20, 2021
i don't think i even know a woman that's shorter than 150 cm... crazy
+1
Level 83
Nov 17, 2023
I live in the UK, but my grandmother is significantly shorter than that (4'9" or 4'10" I think?) and not just due to ageing. (By contrast, my tallest grandparent is over 6' tall, so the genetics in my family are just a lottery at this point)
+3
Level 37
Jun 22, 2022
I am sadly 5'0'', full grown, American... But this quiz was good and a lot harder than some of the other Top 20 Country tagged quizzes
+1
Level 53
Apr 28, 2024
My mom is 150cm, and always has been. I’m 5”6’ as a woman, so I didn’t get those genes, but my mom is always the shortest person in any crowd in the US, other than kids.
+2
Level 69
Oct 4, 2022
I guessed Peru out of the blue, saw it was on here and proceeded to guess EVERY OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRY. oof
+1
Level 78
Oct 7, 2022
Sukarno did not deserve this haha
+1
Level 71
Apr 28, 2024
I'm 178 and have always felt short. Now I feel tall...
+1
Level 51
Apr 28, 2024
that's pretty old
+1
Level 49
Apr 28, 2024
I was surprised not to see Ecuador. I'm biased, do a recent trip there, granted, but on the coast, I thought I was a full head taller than everyone (and i'm only 5' 11" on a good day) and in the mountainous parts around Quito, I felt like a giant.
+1
Level 34
Apr 30, 2024
Dangg I'm more than 10cm higher than my average male countrymen :o