Where Do The Shortest People In The World Live?

By Antonia Čirjak on July 6 2020 in Answer

The country with the shortest people in the world is actually East Timor, or Timor-Leste, which is an island country in Southeast Asia.
  • The country with the shortest people in the world is East Timor, or Timor-Leste, which is an island country in Southeast Asia. The average height of people on this island is just 5 feet 1.28 inches, or 155.47 centimeters. 
  • Interestingly, Iranians have grown the most over the 20th century. Their average height has increased by 6.5 inches, which gave them quite a boost and removed them from the lists of the world’s shortest countries.
  • The people of East Timor had grown a bit since 1896, when they were only 5 feet tall on average, although there were times when they were even taller. During the 1960s, they managed to reach an average height of 5 feet 3.3 inches, but it started to decline again in the 1970s.

If you were wondering who the shortest human being on the planet was, the answer would be quite simple. The holder of this record is Junrey Balawing from the Philippines, who is only 23.62 inches tall. However, things get a little more complicated when we try to find out in which country live the shortest people in the world on average. While it may seem like a tough question to answer at first, luckily there were several kinds of research made throughout recent years that can help us find an answer to this question. 

The fact that a man from the Philippines is the shortest person in the world also helps point us in the right direction, because that country is ranked quite high on the list of countries with the shortest people. However, it is not the first one. The country with the shortest people in the world is actually East Timor, or Timor-Leste, which is an island country in Southeast Asia. The average height of people on this island is just 5 feet 1.28 inches, or 155.47 centimeters. 

Height Distribution In The World

It is a bit weird to think about the fact that the place where you are born actually determines your height, but it does. Researchers have tracked the heights of millions of people across the world and tried to find how they have changed throughout the years. By examining the results of these kinds of researches, we are able to see how height is distributed all over the globe and also how the average height has been changing throughout the decades. 

credit: Jose_Matheus / Shutterstock.com
Dili Timor Leste on February 18, 2012: people singing and cheering during a festival. Image credit: Jose_Matheus / Shutterstock.com

Interestingly, Iranians have grown the most over the 20th century. Their average height has increased by 6.5 inches, which gave them quite a boost and removed them from the lists of the world’s shortest countries. Many countries in Africa and South Asia kept the same average height. It is important to notice that many of these countries have problems with health and nutrition, which might influence the fact that their height remained the same. 

The Importance Of Genetics

If you are wondering which country is the tallest on average, it is the Netherlands, with people being 6 feet tall on average. This is about 9 inches taller than the average height in East Timor, the country with the shortest people in the world. However, the people of East Timor had grown a bit since 1896, when they were only 5 feet tall on average, although there were times when they were even taller. During the 1960s, they managed to reach an average height of 5 feet 3.3 inches, but it started to decline again in the 1970s. This was a period when the country was going through civil wars and Indonesian occupation, which could have influenced the stunted growth. 

A similar thing happened in Yemen, which is another nation plagued with troubles throughout its past. However, some people just have genetic predispositions that make them remain shorter than average. It is believed that more than 60 percent of the height of a person is determined by genetics. So while we might blame certain periods in the past for the average height in East Timor, the reason why people are so short has most to do with genetics. 

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