Europe boasts the tallest men and women in the world, a study has concluded in 2016. Later in 2021, a study which was conducted by Dutch researchers says that the world’s tallest country, Netherlands is shrinking. The generation of Dutch people born in 2001 is shorter than the one born in 1980, a study by the country’s statistics office said.
Earlier it was reported that Dutchmen, who average 182.5cm, are the tallest in the world. Although height has increased over the last 100 years, the study showed Dutchmen born in 2001 found to be shorter than their 1980 counterparts.
Dutchmen born in 1980 had an average height of 183.9 cm and were 8.3 cm taller than those born in 1930. Women born in 1980 were also significantly taller at 170.7 cm, compared to 165.4 cm for those born in 1930. The study said, there is now a decrease in the heights, which reverses a century and a half of rapid growth. This might be the impact of immigration from a shorter population group and diet, researchers believe.
It is not the case that it is uniform for every dutchman. There are large differences between the north and south of the country. Those from Limburg are the shortest, while Friesland natives are between 3 centimeters and 3.5 centimeters taller.
The study was conducted by Statistics Netherlands, municipal health service the GGD, and the National Institute for Public Health, the RIVM. It analyzed over 719,000 Dutch-born individuals between 19-60 age who self-reported their height and used the average height at age 19 as a benchmark. “In the course of the last century we have become taller and taller, but since 1980 the growth has stopped,” the study said.
Despite the report, the Central Bureau of Statistics said the Netherlands is still the tallest nation in the world. The actual reason behind their height is not known and the myth is that it might be because the cheese-loving Dutch consume a lot of dairy products and the result is so. Increased prosperity might also be one of the reasons. Along with that scientists believe the natural selection in which taller men and women had more children than shorter couples is likely the real reason, the statistics bureau said.