In Brief

Which countries have the tallest men and women in the world?

Netherlands and Belgium top the charts for men, while Latvia and Estonia hit the heights for women

The Netherlands has the tallest men in the world while the tallest women can be found in Latvia, according to the largest ever study of global height.

Scientists from Imperial College London, using data from most countries in the world, tracked height among young adult men and women between 1914 and 2014.

They found Dutch men had an average height of 5ft 12in while the average Latvian woman was 5ft 7in tall.

The second-tallest men were in Belgium, followed by Estonia, Latvia, Denmark and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On the women's side, Latvia was followed by the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Serbia.

Among other findings published in the journal eLife, the height of men and women in the UK was found to have increased by roughly 4.3in over the past century. By comparison, the height of men and women in the US increased by 2.4in and 2in, while the height of Chinese men and women increased by around 4.3in and 4in.

Lead researcher Professor Majid Ezzati said the study showed the importance of child nutrition.

"This study confirms we urgently need to address children and adolescents' environment and nutrition on a global scale and ensure we're giving the world's children the best possible start in life," he said.

"Our study also shows the English-speaking world, especially the USA, is falling behind other high-income nations in Europe and Asia Pacific.

"Together with the poor performance of these countries in terms of obesity, this emphasises the need for more effective policies towards healthy nutrition throughout life."

Here are the top ten countries with the tallest men:

1 Netherlands
2 Belgium
3 Estonia
4 Latvia
5 Denmark
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 Croatia
8 Serbia  
9 Iceland
10 Czech Republic

And the top ten countries with the tallest women:

1 Latvia  
2 Netherlands
3 Estonia
4 Czech Republic  
5 Serbia
6 Slovakia  
7 Denmark  
8 Lithuania
9 Belarus  
10 Ukraine

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