Why Are Scandinavians So Tall? 1

Why are Scandinavians so tall, and how do you measure up?

Human height is a complicated concept. Most of us associate being tall with having good genes. Height is attractive to many cultures, and a sign of strength for some. 

It’s also an indication of various health factors, with some scientists saying your height could correlate with life expectancy. 

So, why is it some parts of the world have slightly shorter locals than others? Why do people in China have an average height of 5 foot 6.7”, while the Swedes were ranked the tallest people in 1914

What’s more, what causes heights in different regions to change over time? 

Today, we’re answering the question why are Scandinavians so tall?

The height of a specific nation, like Scandinavia depends on multiple factors, including genes, evolution, and even dietary choices. 

Issues with healthcare and access to certain foods has caused stunted growth in various parts of Asia, while Scandinavian locals have access to excellent quality of life, health support, and foods. 

But, precisely why are Scandinavians are so tall? Let’s find out… 

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Why Scandinavians are so tall 

To answer the question, “why are Scandinavians so tall?” we need to understand which factors contribute to human height in the first place. The study of height, known as Auxology, tells us the primary reason for a person to be tall, is genetics. 

Studies have shown that Danes, in particular, have been gaining height at a rapid rate over the last century. 

The research indicates that Danes are currently the tallest people in the Nordic countries, and they’re also the fifth tallest people in the world. This suggests good Danish genetics are consistent within the country. 

However, researchers also believe environmental factors have an impact beyond the influence of DNA. On the other hand, Swedish men, and women, who were once the tallest in the world, have tumbled down in the rankings. 

According to scientists examining human height, genes are a valuable component in understanding the potential height of a person. In Scandinavia, many people are descendants of Vikings, who were quite tall (averaging around 5 foot 7) for the time. 

Genes, however, can’t account for the changes in height throughout Scandinavia that we’ve seen over time. 

Height is very inheritable, and it’s something that undoubtedly comes from genes to a certain extent. Breeding throughout the years has impacted the average height of virtually every community, as many locations around the world agree height is an attractive factor for a mate to have. 

Although there’s more to tallness than just who your parents are. 

Environmental factors and average Scandinavian height

Experts believe while a third of height might be attributed to genetics, the rest aligns with environmental factors, like access to the right nutrition and healthcare. 

Scandinavia, with its concepts of things like hygge, and its ranking among the happiest regions in the world, is well-situated to deliver the kind of environment people need to grow. 

Everything from pollution, to the chemicals in the food we eat can change our height. Scandinavian’s focus on green living and healthy eating could be the key to growing taller. 

According to the Imperial College of London, one major component of tallness is intake of animal proteins. 

Milk has a direct influence on height development and finding the right balance between plant and animal proteins could be a crucial component in developing good human health. 

On top of that, it’s worth noting the Scandinavian region has access to far more solutions for good health than many other parts of the world, including wide open spaces for exercise, and shorter workdays. 

With less stress to way these locals down, and more healthy experiences to enjoy, it’s easy to see why height is common in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. 

Notably, the Scandinavians aren’t the tallest people in the world right now. Although both Swedes and Danes have tried to reach the top in the past, the Dutch and Latvians stand out as the tallest people in the world. 

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Let’s take a look at some of the countries with the tallest residents:

  • The Netherlands: Average height of 175.62cm, or 5 feet 7.96 inches.
  • Latvia: Average height of 175.61cm, or 5 feet and 9.13 inches.
  • Estonia: Average height of 175.13cm, or 5 feet and 8.94 inches.
  • Denmark: Average height of 174.29cm or 5 feet and 8.61 inches.
  • Czech Republic: Average height of 174.28cm or 5 feet and 8.61 inches.
  • Serbia: Average height of 174.13cm or 5 feet and 8.55 inches.
  • Iceland: Average height of 173.21cm or 5 feet and 8.19 inches.
  • Finland: Average height of 172.74 cm or 5 feet and 8 inches.

Why are Danes so tall?

As mentioned above, the Danes are the tallest people in Scandinavia, with an average height of around 5 foot 11 inches for men, and 5 foot 6 inches for women. Interestingly, Danes are even growing taller at a more rapid race than people in the rest of the world. 

The researchers looking into the average height of Danes believe the reason comes down to a combination of access to excellent healthcare, and healthy living. 

  • Average height of Danes: 5 feet 8.61 inches.
  • Average height of Danish male: 5 feet 11.4 inches.
  • Average height of Danish female: 5 feet 5.83 inches.

Why are Swedes so tall?

Swedes used to be the tallest people in the world. Although researchers previously assumed the height of Swedish people had levelled off, the truth is these locals are continuing to grow. 

Swedish men and women have been growing taller at a much faster rate than other people in the rest of the world. Experts say the reason is improved living standards. 

  • Average height of Swedes: 5 feet 7.99 inches.
  • Average height of Swedish male: 5 feet 10.76 inches.
  • Average height of Swedish female: 5 feet 5.23 inches.

Why are Norwegians so tall?

Norwegians are often ranked among some of the tallest people in the world. Experts say natural selection, combined with a good animal protein diet, makes these Nordic locals taller than their counterparts elsewhere in the world. 

The Norwegians, like some of the other tallest people in the world have some great genetic backgrounds. 

  • Average height of Norwegians: 5 feet 7.97 inches. 
  • Average height of Norwegian male: 5 feet 10.76 inches.
  • Average height of Norwegian female: 5 feet 5.18 inches.
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Why are Scandinavians so tall?

The local residents of Scandinavia certainly have a lot going for them, from stunning locations to explore in the natural landscape, to some of the happiest countries on earth. 

People across Scandinavia benefit from everything from better healthcare, to some of the most delicious food in the world, so it’s no wonder they grow up big and strong. 

For the most part, however, the research into Scandinavians and their height is still ongoing. Right now, we don’t know for sure how much weight should be given to genetics when determining how tall a person might be. 

At the same time, the evidence is mounting up it’s the environment that has more of an impact on a person’s growth than anything else. After all, the breeding of taller Scandi locals over the years is doubtlessly more likely to deliver a taller community of people. 

However, as we explore the different regions of the world, we also note quality of life does have an effect. 

Less exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins might stunt growth, combined with more access to beautiful scenery for walks, excellent nutrition and good health, puts the Scandis in the perfect position to grow some of the tallest people on the planet. 

Next time you visit Norway, Denmark, or Sweden, make sure you pay attention to how tall the residents really are.  

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

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