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Are You Really Tall?

on Sun, 08/07/2016 - 22:42

The Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) research team recently published a study and estimates of adult mean height in every country in the world in the last 100 years.   

The digest of the published paper says: 

People from different countries grow to different heights. This may be partly due to genetics, but most differences in height between countries have other causes. For example, children and adolescents who are malnourished, or who suffer from serious diseases, will generally be shorter as adults. Taller people generally live longer, are less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, and taller women and their children are less likely to have complications during abd after birth.

This background information makes me wonder how tall I am compared to the cohort of people of my sex that born in my country the year of my birth. 

To find the answer, I downloaded the data set from NCD-RisC web site and I created the following visualization tool using Tableau Public.

This tool helped me realize that I'm 2.4 centimeters taller than the mean height of people from my birth cohort. 

I hope this helps you to see if you are taller or shorter than people from your birth cohort.




Nick's picture

Why is the mean going down? Why is the confidence interval much wider later?

Are people born in 1995 still growing?

Gijs's picture

Hi, interesting thing. I have a remark. The confidence levels around the mean, while I trust them to be correct, are a bit confusing. I'd rather know in what percentile my height goes, and get some error bands around that one. This way, it's easy to read that 95% of heights fall within the error bands, which is untrue.

Sarah's picture

Looks like this could be a very neat tool, however on a mobile phone (iPhone 6 for me), the date option is only a wheel to scroll and after spending ~5 minutes attempting to get my birthday in I am giving up.

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