Massive dataset: “2181 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight in 65 million participants in 200 countries and territories.”
(A) Mean height of 19-year-olds in 2019. (B) Change in mean height of 19-year-olds from 1985 to 2019.
Most countries have continued growing taller, especially in the Third World where the potentialities of Flynn!height gains are not yet close to being realized.
(A) Mean BMI of 19-year-olds in 2019. (B) Change in mean BMI of 19-year-olds from 1985 to 2019. BMI=body-mass index.
And almost everyone has grown fatter. The causality is a matter of the dispute, but the fact that it’s so universal suggests that it is a global phenomenon with universal causes, not culture-specific.
Each arrow shows one country. For each country, the arrow begins at mean height and BMI values in 1985 and ends in mean height and BMI values in 2019. Each arrow colour refers to countries in one region. BMI=body-mass index. *Countries in northwestern Europe, southwestern Europe, and English-speaking high-income countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA).
Mean height and BMI of 19-year-olds in 2019 (ie, those born in 2000) at each age from 5 to 19 years compared with the median of the WHO growth reference (A) and the world median (B). Each cell represents the difference between the height or BMI of children and adolescents in one country and the median value for a given age of the WHO growth reference (A) and all countries (B). Countries are ordered by decreasing height or increasing BMI in adolescents at age 19 years in 2019.
As expected: North Europeans and Balkanoids at the top, Meds and East Asians in the middle, most of the Third World at the bottom.
SINOTRIUMPH: Chinese teens are now taller than South Koreans, making them the tallest people in East Asia. This is amazing, considering that South Chinese have much less steppe admixture than Koreans and North Chinese. DONGBEI POWER!
I notice that the gap between South Korea and Best Korea is now rather modest, with the latter now decidedly taller than the Japanese and Taiwanese, and about as tall as Hong Kongers. This corroborates reports (e.g. Andrey Lankov) that Kim Jong Un has improved living standards for his people.
East Europeans now join Nords and Balkanoids as the world’s tallest people. Amongst boys: Czechia #7, Slovakia #9, Poland #15. Surprise Ukrotriumph, with Ukraine at #11, unexpected in light of its relative poverty and lower per capita meat consumption. But Russia – and Hungary – do significantly worse, they are now the manlets of Eastern Europe with heights comparable to that of Le 56% Face burgers.
Speaking of which, it is amusing that Guatemalan girls are the world’s shortest. Daily reminder that stereotypes don’t lie, even when they’re cruel (“squatemalans”).
Also as expected: Various island peoples at the top, followed soon after by Arabs and the US; impoverished Third World at the bottom; Romania and France do well within Europe.
China is also now one of the fattest East Asian nations, well ahead of Japan, Taiwan, and South Koreans (girls).
Feel free to point out more amusing observations, and/or check out a related post: The (Physical) Strength of Nations