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Dutch Men and Latvian Women Are the Tallest in the World

It’s not a competition.

The Dutch pitcher Loek van Mil, who, at 7’1”, is the tallest player in professional baseball. (Photo: Eargus/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Men and women, for decades, have only been getting taller, growing by several inches in the last 100 years alone. This is thought to be due to a range of factors, including better nutrition and better healthcare. But tall people also have a number of evolutionary advantages: they are at less of risk for heart disease, they earn more money, and they have longer life expectancies. 

A long-term study from researchers based in London published Tuesday revealed the nationalities that have grown to be world’s actual tallest: Dutch men, who average five feet, eleven inches, and Latvian women, who average five feet, seven inches, according to the Guardian.

The world’s shortest? Guatemalan women, who average four feet, ten inches, and the men in East Timor, who average five feet, three inches. 

The study also revealed that South Korean women in particular have bolted up over the past 100 years, growing by an average of nearly eight inches, while in Iran, men there have grown faster than any other place on Earth, or about 6.5 inches on average in the past century. 

In the U.S., men and women are among the slowest growing humans on the planet, having grown just around a couple of inches since 1914, according to the study. But that’s because we had a pretty quick head start: in 1914, American men and women were among the top-five tallest in the world. 

Eat well, take care of yourself, and go see the doctor every once in a while. Future, taller generations are depending on it.