Facts About the Average Height of Polish Men and Women

Welcome to my post in which I will talk about average height of men and women in Poland. In this text, I’ll be exploring the latest height statistics of Poles and I will compare them to those from other countries. But before I dive into the data, it’s important that I note the height is not main aspect of physical health and is not a direct indicator of overall well-being. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the average height of men and women in Poland.

Regardless of the overall evolutionary trend, height is an individual characteristic of every human being. It is possible to find individuals in any population who are higher or lower than the average, while these averages, as we already know, vary from population to population.

The Average Height of Men and Women in Poland

According to data from the World Population Review (WPR), the average height of men in Poland is 180.7 cm (5 feet, 11 inches), while the average height of women is 165.8 cm (5 feet, 5 inches). This puts the overall average height for both genders in Poland at 173.2 cm (5 feet, 8 inches).

For males, it is almost 8 cm higher than 40 years ago. In contrast, 130 years ago, the average height of a male Pole was 165 cm.

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It is good to know that humans as a species have been getting systematically taller for several centuries. Based on collected data, it is known that in the last 150 years, the average individual has grown by 20 cm. All highly developed countries have maintained the trend of increasing height over the last 150 years. Male Poles, as well as other Europeans, are the tallest men.

Each succeeding generation is taller than its parents. In Poland, especially after the war, the average height began to rise every decade. According to the records of military recruitment committees, in 1874, the tallest recruits were 163.8 cm. Half a century later, the average height was 3 cm higher, and by 1977 it was 173.2 cm. By the next decade, the height of 19-year-olds was already 2 cm higher.

Comparing Poles’ Height to Other Countries

When compared to other countries, Poland falls somewhere in the middle of the ranking. Countries with taller averages include the Netherlands, where men stand at an average height of 6 feet (183.7 cm) and women at an average of 5 feet 7 inches (170.3 cm), and Estonia, where men average 5 feet 11 inches (180.7 cm) and women average 5 feet 5 inches (165.7 cm). On the other hand, countries with shorter averages include Laos, where the average height for both men and women is around 5 feet 2 inches (157.5 cm), and Nepal, where the average height for men is 5 feet 4 inches (164.4 cm) and the average height for women is 5 feet (152.4 cm).

Since you are interested in the statistics, perhaps you will find interesting the article I wrote about the Poles who live in other countries. Check this out.

What Nation is The Tallest and The Shortest?

The tallest people in the world are the Dutch, with an average height of 183.7 centimeters (6 feet) , while the shortest are the men who live in East Timor and measure an average of 156 cm (6 feet 1 inch) for both men and women.

Factors Influencing Height in Poland

The recent discoveries in the human genome sequence have helped scientists identify nearly 700 variants in genes associated with growth. Specific combinations of these variants occur much more frequently in particular populations around the world. This may explain the large differences in average height in countries with similar economic development.

Body height is determined not only by genes, which sometimes also depend on environmental conditions. As economic conditions improve within the population, it is observed that the average height increases by 0.5-2 cm per decade. However, this phenomenon is more related to short people. There are six main factors determining one’s height:

  • genetic factors 60 – 80 percent.
  • family socioeconomic status (education, particularly of the mother, occupation, and access to medical care)
  • social and economic factors (income distribution, product prices)
  • environmental conditions
  • hygiene status
  • diet

Apart from diet, scientists point to other growth determinant components – the mother’s health during pregnancy, exposure to harmful substances such as smog, childhood diseases, endocrine disruption during adolescence, education, the parents’ social status, and expenditures on the child. Thus, a whole range of factors besides genes influence our growth.

Historically, the tallest man was probably the American Robert Wadlow, who died in 1940 and measured 272 cm (8 feet, 11 inches) the day he died. Maria Wedde of Germany was the tallest woman. She stood 263 cm (8 feet 7 inches) tall. She died in 1885 in Paris at the age of 19. The shortest one was Dutchwoman Pauline Masaters, who was only 61 cm tall. She also died at the age of 19.

The Tallest Poles in History

Who was the tallest person who ever lived in our area? It’s not known for sure, but it’s very likely it was Walery Szczepanek, born in the second half of the 19th century. He was a citizen of Gorajec-Zastaw, in the municipality of Radecznica. He was 224 cm tall (7 feet 4 inches). The tallest living Pole today measures 220 cm (7 feet 2 inches), which is 4 cm shorter. Other men barely reach his shoulders, even though they are not the shortest ones either. He is not only very tall, but also very skinny, with huge feet. These are physical characteristics shared by nearly all extremely tall people who stand 200 cm or taller.

The tallest measured Pole was Eugeniusz Taracinski, who was 228 cm (7 feet, 6 inches) tall. He lived between 1928 and 1978. Nowadays he it is possible that the tallest measured man is Janusz Mysłowiecki (220 cm). He is a basketball player who plays in Danish Premier League (Horsholm 79ers club). As he told in interview, he reached 2 m in height after eighth grade of elementary school. Only over the summer vacations he grew 5 cm. Then he grew another 15 cm. The tallest Polish woman and at the same time the tallest basketball player in the history of the WNBA was Małgorzata Dydek “Margo” from Gdynia. She died in 2011 at the age of 37.


  • https://www.newsweek.pl/zdrowie-i-nauka/nauka/kto-jest-najwyzszy-w-europie-ile-wzrostu-ma-statystyczny-polak/hdntw7e
  • http://www.ncdrisc.org/height-mean-ranking.html
  • https://nauka.tvp.pl/56090019/od-czego-zalezy-nasz-wzrost
  • https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/average-height-by-country