Ranked: The countries with the shortest people in the world

Tape measure
A tape measure. Shutterstock

  • Height varies a lot around the world – and some countries come far behind.
  • Using medical data, INSIDER calculated average height figures for the 25 shortest countries.
  • Scroll down to see the nations with the shortest people on earth.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

25-year-old Junrey Balawing from the Philippines was awarded the title of world’s smallest living man in September 2015. He is just 59.9cm (1 foot 11.58 inches) tall.

Although he is the most extreme example, he is part of a broader scientific phenomenon: Filipinos are among the shortest people on earth.

INSIDER compiled a ranking of average height data from a medical database run by NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a project linked to Imperial College London.

It lists separate figures for male and female height in each country – we took an average of these two figures to give a rough idea of how tall the average person is in the country, and also listed the separate male and female figures.

Scroll down to see the 25 countries at the bottom.

25. Sri Lanka — 160.12cm (5 feet 3.04 inches)

The average Sri Lankan is 160.12cm (5 feet 3.04 inches) tall.

The average man in Sri Lanka is 165.68cm (5 feet 5.23 inches) tall.

The average woman in Sri Lanka is 154.56cm (5 feet 0.85 inches) tall.

24. Honduras — 160.11cm (5 feet 3.03 inches)

Honduras. Guayo Fuentes/Shutterstock

The average person in Honduras is 160.11cm (5 feet 3.03 inches) tall.

The average Honduran man is 166.39cm (5 feet 5.50 inches) tall.

The average Honduran woman is 153.84cm (5.056 inches) tall.

23. Liberia — 159.66cm (5 feet 2.85 inches)

The average Liberian is 159.66cm (5 feet 2.85 inches) tall.

An average Liberian man is 163.66cm (5 feet 4.43 inches) tall.

An average Liberian woman is 155.66cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) tall.

22. Myanmar — 159.52cm (5 feet 2.80 inches)

The Temples of Bagan in Mandalay, Myanmar. lkunl/Shutterstock

The average person is Myanmar is 159.52cm (5 feet 2.80 inches) tall.

An average Myanmarese man is 164.67cm (5 feet 4.83 inches) tall.

An average Myanmarese woman is 154.37cm (5 feet 0.77 inches) tall.

21. Brunei — 159.49cm (5 feet 2.79 inches)

The average Bruneian is 159.49cm (5 feet 2.79 inches) tall.

The average Bruneian man is 165.00cm (5 feet 4.96 inches) tall.

The average Bruneian woman is 153.98cm (5 feet 0.62 inches) tall.

20. Bhutan — 159.46cm (5 fet 2.77 inches)

The Bhutanese flag. Wikimedia Commons

The average Bhutanese person is 159.46cm (5 fet 2.77 inches) tall.

The average Bhutanese man 165.30cm (5 feet 5.07 inches) tall.

The average Bhutanese woman is 153.62cm (5 feet 0.48 inches) tall.

19. Mozambique — 159.37cm (5 feet 2.74 inches)

Mozambique. Stig Nygaard/Flickr

The average Mozambican is 159.37cm (5 feet 2.74 inches) tall.

An average Mozambican man is 164.79c. (5 feet 4.88 inches) tall.

The average Mozambican woman is 153.96cm (5 feet 0.61 inches) tall.

18. Solomon Islands — 159.27cm (5 feet 2.70 inches)

The Duke of Edinburgh visiting the Solomon Islands in 1982. Ron Bell / PA

An average Solomon Islander is 159.27cm (5 feet 2.70 inches) tall.

Men in the Solomon Islands are 164.14cm (5 feet 4.62 inches) tall.

Woman in the Solomon Islands are 154.41cm (5 feet 0.79 inches) tall.

17. Papua New Guinea— 159.21cm (5 feet 2.68 inches)


Papuans are an average 159.21cm (5 feet 2.68 inches) tall.

Papuan men are 163.56cm (5 feet 4.39 inches) tall on average.

Papuan women are 154.87cm (5 feet 0.97 inches) tall on average.

16. Peru — 159.08cm (5 feet 2.63 inches)

Machu Pichu, Peru. alessandro pinto/Shutterstock

The average height of a person is Peru is 159.08cm (5 feet 2.63 inches.)

An average Peruvian man is 165.23cm (5 feet 5.05 inches) tall.

An average Peruvian woman is 152.93cm (5 feet 0.21 inches) tall.

15. Vietnam — 159.01cm (5 feet 2.60 inches)

Children in Lao Chai, Vietnam. Getty

Vietnamese people have an average of 159.01cm (5 feet 2.60 inches.)

Vietnamese men are an average 164.44cm (5 feet 4.74 inches) tall.

Vietnamese women are an average 153.59cm 5 feet 0.46 inches) tall.

14. India — 158.76cm (5 feet 2.50 inches)

Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar — 165cm tall — at Lords. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Indians are 158.76cm (5 feet 2.50 inches) tall on average.

An average Indian man is 164.94cm (5 feet 4.93 inches) tall.

The average Indian women is 152.58cm (5 feet 0.07 inches) tall.

13. Rwanda — 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches)

Rwandans have an average height of 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches.)

Rwandan men are on avergae 162.67 (5 feet 4.04 inches) tall.

Rwandan women are on average 158.73cm (5 feet 2.49 inches) tall.

12. Malawi — 158.31cm (5 feet 2.32 inches)

People from Malawi are 158.31cm (5 feet 2.32 inches) tall on average.

The average man from Malawi is 162.22cm (5 feet 3.86 inches) tall, and the average women from Malawi is 154.40cm (5 feet 0.78 inches) tall.

11. Indonesia — 158.17cm (5 feet 2.27 inches)

Indonesian Muslims attend Eid Al-Fitr prayers in Bantul, Indonesia. Getty

Indonesians are an average 158.17cm (5 feet 2.27 inches) tall.

Indonesian men are 163.55cm (5 feet 4.39 inches) tall on average.

Indonesian women are 152.79cm (5 feet 0.15 inches) tall on average.

10. Cambodia — 158.11cm (5 feet 2.24 inches)

Workers march along a street to mark International Labour Day in Phnom Penh on May 1, 2019. Getty

Cambodians are an average of 158.11cm (5 feet 2.24 inches) tall.

The men are an average 163.32cm (5 feet 4.30 inches) tall, while the women are an average 152.90 (5 feet 0.19 inches) tall.

8. The Marshall Islands— 157.05cm (5 feet 1.83 inches)


An average person on the small Micronesian nation of the Marshall Islands is 157.05cm (5 feet 1.83 inches) tall.

A man from the Marshall Islands is on average 162.80cm (5 fet 4.09 inches) tall.

A woman from the Marshall Islands is on average 151.30cm (4 feet 11.56 inches) tall.

9. Bangladesh— 157.29cm (5 feet 1.92 inches)

The average Bangladeshi is 157.29cm (5 feet 1.92 inches) tall.

The average Bangladeshi man is 163.80cm(5 feet 4.48 inches) tall.

The average Bangladeshi woman is 150.78cm (4 feet 11.36 inches) tall.

7. Yemen — 156.92cm (5 feet 1.78 inches)

Sana’a Old Town, Yemen. Flickr/Dan

The average Yemeni is 156.92cm (5 feet 1.78 inches) tall.

The average male in Yemen is 159.88cm (5 feet 2.94 inches) tall.

The average female in Yemen is 153.97cm (5 feet 0.61 inches) tall.

6. Nepal — 156.58cm (5 fet 1.64 inches)

A sign near Everest base camp in the Solukhumbu district, some 140km northeast of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images

The average Nepalese person is 156.58cm (5 fet 1.64 inches) tall.

The average Nepalese man 162.31cm (5 feet 3.90 inches) tall.

The average Nepalese woman is 150.86cm (4 feet 11.39 inches) tall.

5. Philippines — 156.41cm (5 feet 1.57 inches)

An average Filipino is 156.41cm (5 feet 1.57 inches) tall.

The average Filipino man is 163.22cm (5 feet 4.25 inches) tall.

The average Filipino woman is 149.60cm (4 feet 10.89 inches) tall.

4. Guatemala — 156.39cm (5 feet 1.57 inches)

The average Guatemalan is 156.39cm (5 feet 1.57 inches) tall.

The average Guatemalan man is 163.40cm (5 feet 4.33 inches) tall.

The average Guatemalan woman is 149.38cm (4 feet 10.81cm) tall.

3. Madagascar — 156.36cm (5 feet 1.56 inches)

The penguins of Madagascar, from the Dreamworks movie ‘Madagascar.’ DreamWorks Animation

The average person in Madagascar is 156.36cm (5 feet 1.56 inches) tall.

The average Malagasy man is 161.54cm (5 feet 3.60 inches) tall.

The average Malagasy woman is 151.18cm (4 feet 11.51 inches) tall.

2. Laos — 155.89cm (5 feet 1.37 inches)

Luang Prabang, Laos. apiguide/Shutterstock

An average person from Laos is 155.89cm (5 feet 1.37 inches) tall.

A Lao man is on average 160.51cm (5 feet 3.19 inches) tall.

Lao women are 151.26cm (4 feet 11.55 inches) tall on average.

1. Timor-Leste — 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches)

People on the Southeast Asian island of Timor are an average 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) tall.

The average Timorese man is 159.79cm (5 feet 2.90 inches) tall.

The average Timorese woman ia 151.15cm (4 feet 11.50 inches) tall.

The world’s smallest living man and women, though?

Junrey Balawing (L) — 59.9cm (1 foot 11.58 inches) — is the world’s smallest living man. Jyoti Amge (R) — 62.8 cm (2 feet 0.72 inches) tall — is the world’s smallest woman. Getty

At 62.8 cm (2 feet 0.72 inches) 25-year-old Jyoti Amge from India is the world’s smallest living woman.

And at 59.9cm (1 foot 11.58 inches) Filipino Junrey Balawing, also 25, is the smallest living man.

Source: Guinness World Records.