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Ranked: The countries with the shortest people in the world

Worldwide, scientists have found that there's around a 20 centimeter, or 7.8 inch, difference between the average height of a child in the tallest and shortest countries, according to the BBC.

When it comes to adults, in countries like the Netherlands — ranked as the tallest on earth — the average person towers as high as 175.62cm (5 feet 7.96 inches). But at the other end of the scale, the average height is considerably lower.

Insider compiled a ranking of average height data using a 2020 medical database run by NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a project linked to Imperial College London. It lists separate figures for male and female heights for each country.

We took an average of those two figures to get a rough idea of the average height of a person in each country, and also listed the separate male and female figures.

Scroll down to see the 25 countries with the shortest average populations.

Sri Lanka
Members of Sri Lankan military march with national flags during the country's 68th Independence day celebrations in Colombo, February 4, 2016.REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

24. Honduras — 160.11cm (5 feet 3.03 inches)

President Xiomara Castro smiles after receiving the presidential sash, as her husband former President Manuel Zelaya who was ousted by a military coup in 2009, right, applauds during her inauguration as the first female president, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro with her husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, during her inauguration as the first female president, January 27, 2022.Moises Castillo/AP Photo

The average person in Honduras is 160.11cm (5 feet 3.03 inches) tall.

The average Honduran man is 166.39cm (5 feet 5.5 inches) tall.

The average Honduran woman is 153.84cm (5.056 inches) tall.

 

23. Liberia — 159.66cm (5 feet 2.85 inches)

A crowd of people in Monrovia, Liberia, supporting then-presidential candidate George Weah, on December 29, 2017
Supporters of then-presidential candidate George Weah, in Monrovia, Liberia, December 29, 2017.Abbas Dulleh/AP Photo

The average Liberian is 159.66cm (5 feet 2.85 inches) tall.

An average Liberian man is 163.66cm (5 feet 4.43 inches) tall.

An average Liberian woman is 155.66cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) tall.

22. Myanmar — 159.52cm (5 feet 2.8 inches)

Customers (left) buy vegetables from sellers (right) at a local bazaar near Innlay Lake Friday, May 3, 2019, in southern Shan State, Myanmar.
Customers buy vegetables at a local bazaar near Innlay Lake Friday, May 3, 2019, in southern Shan State, Myanmar.Thein Zaw/AP Photo

The average person is Myanmar is 159.52cm (5 feet 2.8 inches) tall.

An average Myanmarese man is 164.67cm (5 feet 4.83 inches) tall.

An average Myanmarese woman is 154.37cm (5 feet 0.77 inches) tall.

21. Brunei — 159.49cm (5 feet 2.79 inches)

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah d Ban
Former US president Bill Clinton, left, and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in 2000.AP

The average Bruneian is 159.49cm (5 feet 2.79 inches) tall.

The average Bruneian man is 165cm (5 feet 4.96 inches) tall.

The average Bruneian woman is 153.98cm (5 feet 0.62 inches) tall.

20. Bhutan — 159.46cm (5 feet 2.77 inches)

Miss Bhutan 2022, Tashi Choden, stands in a patterned black evening dress and sash in front of a glittering gold backdrop on stage in during the preliminary round of the 71st Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.
At five foot eight, Miss Bhutan — Tashi Choden — is much taller than the average woman from Bhutan.Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

The average Bhutanese person is 159.46cm (5 fet 2.77 inches) tall.

The average Bhutanese man is 165.3cm (5 feet 5.07 inches) tall.

The average Bhutanese woman is 153.62cm (5 feet 0.48 inches) tall.

19. Mozambique — 159.37cm (5 feet 2.74 inches)

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov shakes hands with Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources of Mozambique Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, on May 31, 2023. Lavrov, at 6 foot 2, is taller than Mesquita.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources of Mozambique Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita on May 31, 2023.Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP Photo

The average Mozambican is 159.37cm (5 feet 2.74 inches) tall.

An average Mozambican man is 164.79cm (5 feet 4.88 inches) tall.

The average Mozambican woman is 153.96cm (5 feet 0.61 inches) tall.

18. Solomon Islands — 159.27cm (5 feet 2.7 inches)

A scottish volleyball player faces two volleyball players from the Solomon Islands as a ball goes over the net at the Commonwealth games, August 4, 2022
Scotland (left) faces the Solomon Islands (right) during a women's volleyball match at the Commonwealth Games on August 4, 2022.Manish Swarup/AP Photo

An average Solomon Islander is 159.27cm (5 feet 2.7 inches) tall.

Men, on average, in the Solomon Islands are 164.14cm (5 feet 4.62 inches) tall.

While woman in the Solomon Islands are, on average, 154.41cm (5 feet 0.79 inches) tall.

17. Papua New Guinea— 159.21cm (5 feet 2.68 inches)

Left to right: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Papua New Guinea's then-Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and then-U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Nov. 18, 2018.
Papua New Guinea's then-Prime Minister Peter O'Neill (second left) standing with other world leaders, November 18, 2018.Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo

Papuans are an average 159.21cm (5 feet 2.68 inches) tall.

Papuan men are 163.56cm (5 feet 4.39 inches) tall on average.

Papuan women are 154.87cm (5 feet 0.97 inches) tall on average.

16. Peru — 159.08cm (5 feet 2.63 inches)

A line of Peruvian dancers in bowler hats, white scarves and blue skirts dance outdoors among a cloud of theatrical yellow dust as part of a pre-feast presentation in honor of Our Lady of Candelaria's upcoming feast day celebrations, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.
Dancers perform during a pre-feast presentation in honor of Our Lady of Candelaria's feast day celebrations, in Lima, Peru, January 22, 2015.Martin Mejia/AP Photo

The average height of a person in Peru is 159.08cm (5 feet 2.63 inches).

An average Peruvian man is 165.23cm (5 feet 5.05 inches) tall.

An average Peruvian woman is 152.93cm (5 feet 0.21 inches) tall.

15. Vietnam — 159.01cm (5 feet 2.6 inches)

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) inspects a guard of honour with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on August 23, 2019.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) with Vietnamese then-counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) in Hanoi on August 23, 2019.Getty

Vietnamese people have an average height of 159.01cm (5 feet 2.60 inches).

Vietnamese men are on average 164.44cm (5 feet 4.74 inches) tall.

Vietnamese women are on average 153.59cm 5 feet 0.46 inches) tall.

14. India — 158.76cm (5 feet 2.5 inches)

Sachin Tendulkar
Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar — 165cm tall — at Lords.Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Indians are 158.76cm (5 feet 2.5 inches) tall on average.

An average Indian man is 164.94cm (5 feet 4.93 inches) tall.

The average Indian women is 152.58cm (5 feet 0.07 inches) tall.

 

13. Rwanda — 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches)

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda attends the session
Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.Thomson Reuters

Rwandans have an average height of 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches).

Rwandan men are on average 162.67 (5 feet 4.04 inches) tall.

Rwandan women are on average 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches) tall.

12. Malawi — 158.31cm (5 feet 2.32 inches)

People in Malawi cycling on a road with a tree in the background, in this Monday, May, 23, 2016 photo in the Machinga district,Malawi
Malawians ride their bicycles in this May, 23, 2016 photo in the Machinga district of Malawi.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP Photo

People from Malawi are 158.31cm (5 feet 2.32 inches) tall on average.

The average man from Malawi is 162.22cm (5 feet 3.86 inches) tall, and the average women from the country is 154.4cm (5 feet 0.78 inches) tall.

11. Indonesia — 158.17cm (5 feet 2.27 inches)

Indonesian Muslims Eid Al-Fitr
Indonesian Muslims attend Eid Al-Fitr prayers in Bantul, Indonesia.Getty

Indonesians are an average 158.17cm (5 feet 2.27 inches) tall.

Indonesian men are 163.55cm (5 feet 4.39 inches) tall on average.

Indonesian women are 152.79cm (5 feet 0.15 inches) tall on average.

10. Cambodia — 158.11cm (5 feet 2.24 inches)

Phnom Penh cambodia march
Workers march along a street to mark International Labor Day in Phnom Penh on May 1, 2019.Getty

Cambodians are an average of 158.11cm (5 feet 2.24 inches) tall.

The men are an average 163.32cm (5 feet 4.30 inches) tall, while the women are an average 152.9cm (5 feet 0.19 inches) tall.

8. The Marshall Islands— 157.05cm (5 feet 1.83 inches)

Mothers and children enjoy an afternoon game of volleyball on a beach in Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Nov. 9, 2015.
Mothers and children enjoy an afternoon game of volleyball on a beach in Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands on November 9, 2015.Rob Griffith, File/AP Photo

An average person in the small Micronesian nation of the Marshall Islands is 157.05cm (5 feet 1.83 inches) tall.

A man from the Marshall Islands is on average 162.8cm (5 fet 4.09 inches) tall.

A woman from the Marshall Islands is on average 151.3cm (4 feet 11.56 inches) tall.

9. Bangladesh — 157.29cm (5 feet 1.92 inches)

A manA Bangladeshi roadside vendor, standing on a pile of boxes, shouts out to passersby holding fruits in his hand to attract their attention on an overcast day on the banks of the River Buriganga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.
A Bangladeshi roadside vendor shouts out to people on the banks of the River Buriganga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 21, 2016.A.M. Ahad/AP Photo

The average Bangladeshi is 157.29cm (5 feet 1.92 inches) tall.

The average Bangladeshi man is 163.8cm (5 feet 4.48 inches) tall.

The average Bangladeshi woman is 150.78cm (4 feet 11.36 inches) tall.

7. Yemen — 156.92cm (5 feet 1.78 inches)

Yemenis walk past vendors in the market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019.
Yemenis walk past vendors in the market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, September 28, 2019.Hani Mohammed/AP Photo

The average Yemeni is 156.92cm (5 feet 1.78 inches) tall.

The average male in Yemen is 159.88cm (5 feet 2.94 inches) tall.

The average female in Yemen is 153.97cm (5 feet 0.61 inches) tall.

6. Nepal — 156.58cm (5 feet 1.64 inches)

Outgoing President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, right, congratulates Nepal's newly elected president Ram Chandra Poudel, after he took the oath of office at the presidential building
Outgoing President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, right, congratulates Nepal's newly elected President Ram Chandra Poudel, after he took the oath of office in Kathmandu, Nepal, March 13, 2023.Dipen Shrestha/AP Photo

The average Nepalese person is 156.58cm (5 feet 1.64 inches) tall.

The average Nepalese man 162.31cm (5 feet 3.9 inches) tall.

The average Nepalese woman is 150.86cm (4 feet 11.39 inches) tall.

 

5. Philippines — 156.41cm (5 feet 1.57 inches)

grandparents philippines
Aaron Favila/AP

An average Filipino is 156.41cm (5 feet 1.57 inches) tall.

The average Filipino man is 163.22cm (5 feet 4.25 inches) tall.

The average Filipino woman is 149.6cm (4 feet 10.89 inches) tall.

4. Guatemala — 156.39cm (5 feet 1.57 inches)

Guatemala flag
A woman waves the Guatemalan flag.Reuters/Stringer

The average Guatemalan is 156.39cm (5 feet 1.57 inches) tall.

The average Guatemalan man is 163.4cm (5 feet 4.33 inches) tall.

The average Guatemalan woman is 149.38cm (4 feet 10.81cm) tall.

3. Madagascar — 156.36cm (5 feet 1.56 inches)

A crowd of people on a grassy hill against a cloudy sky wait for the arrival of Pope Francis on the occasion of his visit to the City of Friendship in Akamasoa, Madagascar, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.
People wait for the arrival of Pope Francis in Akamasoa, Madagascar, September 8, 2019.Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo

The average person in Madagascar is 156.36cm (5 feet 1.56 inches) tall.

The average Malagasy man is 161.54cm (5 feet 3.6 inches) tall.

The average Malagasy woman is 151.18cm (4 feet 11.51 inches) tall.

2. Laos — 155.89cm (5 feet 1.37 inches)

Shoppers, some carrying goods in plastic bags, walk through a local market selling fresh goods under awnings in downtown Vientiane, Laos, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.
Shoppers walk through a local market in downtown Vientiane, Laos, November 4, 2012.Vincent Thian/AP Photo

An average person from Laos is 155.89cm (5 feet 1.37 inches) tall.

A Lao man is on average 160.51cm (5 feet 3.19 inches) tall.

Lao women are 151.26cm (4 feet 11.55 inches) tall on average.

1. Timor-Leste — 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches)

Timor Leste
Athletes from Timor-Leste at the Winter Olympics.Reuters

People on the Southeast Asian island of Timor are on average 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) tall.

The average Timorese man is 159.79cm (5 feet 2.9 inches) tall.

The average Timorese woman is 151.15cm (4 feet 11.5 inches) tall.

 

What's behind these height differences?

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un shakes hands with then-President Donald Trump in front of a row of their respective flags on June 18, 2018,, their 20cm height difference clearly identifiable.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and then-US President Donald Trump in 2018. Kim is about 170 cm (5.8 feet) tall, about 20 cm (7.9 inches) shorter than Trump.Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Genetics is only part of the answer, Majid Ezzati, who runs the NCD study at Imperial College London, told BBC News.

Speaking of how national average heights change over decades, he said: "About a third of the explanation could be genes, but that doesn't explain the change over time.

"Genes don't change that fast and they don't vary that much across the world," he said, adding: "So changes over time and variations across the world are largely environmental."

Environmental factors such as poor diet are likely part of the answer, according to the BBC, citing a study that found a 20cm (7.9 in) difference between children in the tallest and shortest nations.

It could also help explain why average heights in several nations have both risen and fallen over the last decades — while nations like Japan, South Korea and China have seen height increases, some sub-Saharan African nations like Uganda and Sierra have seen male height decreases, the BBC reported.

The world's smallest living men and women, though?

Only one of the officially listed world's shortest living people is from a country on this list. Their heights stem from forms of dwarfism.

In 2009, the Guinness Book of Records split the category of shortest person into mobile and non-mobile people, to differentiate between people who can walk unassisted and those who cannot.

The world's shortest mobile man and woman are actress Jyoti Amge from India, who stands at 62.8 centimetres (2 ft 0.75 inches), and social media personality Afshin Esmaeil Ghaderzadeh from Iran, who is 65.24 cm (2 ft 1.6 inches).

The world's shortest non-mobile woman is Wildine Aumoithe, a Haitian-American who is 72 cm (2 ft 3.5 in). As of 2021, she was studying to be a pharmacist.

At present, there is no non-mobile male record holder.

Read the original article on Insider