Find out about the average height of a 7-year-old around the world and what factors influence growth.
In the United States, the average height for a 7-year-old boy is between 45 and 54 inches. For a 7-year-old girl, the average height range is the same. This range translates to a height range of 3 foot 5 inches to 4 foot 4 inches.
Various factors can influence a child’s height, including DNA, growth rates, and nutrition. Let’s take a deeper dive into worldwide averages and factors influencing height and growth rates.
According to the World Health Organization’s data, the global average height for 7-year-old girls is 48.43 inches or just over 3 foot 8 inches. For 7-year-old boys, the average height is around the same.
Global height averages collected from other sources are on par with the World Health Organization. When compared with averages from the United States, global data appears to be on the lower end of the U.S.’s range.
However, this doesn’t mean the United States necessarily has the highest average height for 7-year-old children. And a child’s height at 7 years old isn’t always a good indicator of how tall they will be in adulthood.
Predicting Adult Height
Height predictions are usually based on the heights of the child’s mother and father. For girls, the minimum height they’ll reach in adulthood typically equals the mother’s height. The maximum is usually 5 inches below their father’s.
For boys, predictions add 5 inches to the height of the mother for the minimum and use the father’s height as the maximum.
So, if a girl is born to a mother who is 5 foot 3 and a father who is 5 foot 11, her adult height would be between 5 foot 3 and 5 foot 6.
If a boy is born to the same parents, his adult height range would be between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 11.
The Role of Genetics
Although DNA plays the most significant role in determining average heights, growth rates are also influenced by the presence of disease and good nutrition. A child’s growth may be slower or stunted if they develop a disease like cancer or cystic fibrosis.
Some diseases cause poor nutrient absorption. Even if the child is fed an adequate, balanced diet, the body doesn’t reap the benefits of it. Hormonal disorders, including hypothyroidism, can also cause slow growth rates.
Other factors such as poor sleep, being breastfed, prescription medications, and even high levels of anxiety, can all influence a child’s development. Pediatricians use growth chart percentiles to determine how a child is growing.
For example, a child in the 50th height percentile for their age is average. Someone in the 40th percentile would be considered slightly below average, but still within a normal range. A child in the 60th percentile might be slightly above average but also normal.
The Role of Nutrition
Comparisons of average heights around the world have led researchers to conclude that nutrition does play a secondary, significant role. Although average body mass index or BMI does not determine the height, doctors calculate it using a person’s height and weight.
Researchers found that in countries where BMI is highest among children, these kids also tended to grow at slower rates or put on more weight after the age of 5. The countries impacted include the United States and Chile.
Inadequate nutrition, such as a diet high in processed foods and sugars, could cause stunted growth. When children don’t get the vitamins and minerals they need, along with nutrient-dense calories, they may not reach their full genetic height.
Average Heights in Afghanistan
The average height of 7-year-old girls in Afghanistan is around 42.5 inches or 3 foot 2.5. For boys of the same age, the average height comes in at about 44 inches or 3 foot 4.
Since Afghanistan is perceived as a third-world country, some might expect instances where children have issues with malnourishment. However, a comparison against world averages shows Afghanistan children are only a hair behind.
Compared with the United States, Afghanistan’s average is below the low end of the U.S.’s height range. But similar to world average comparisons, it’s not that far off.
Average Heights in Australia
Looking at Australia’s height averages for 7-year-old children reveals figures more on par with U.S. averages. For both boys and girls, average heights come in at 47.2 inches or around 3 foot 7.
Australia, of course, is considered part of the developed or Western world. Like the U.S., there are usually more than adequate levels of resources. Food and nutrition are no exception.
But with higher access to food and food types, the risk of poor nutrition can ironically also increase. What’s not yet fully known is how much poor nutrition can stunt the influence of a child’s genes.
Average Heights in the Netherlands
Heights and growth rates in the Netherlands may hold some clues to the question of genetics versus nutrition. The Netherlands is known for above-average heights among adult males and females.
Men tend to grow to be just over 6 feet on average, while women shoot up to 5 foot 6 inches tall. However, average heights for 7-year-old boys and girls are around 43.3 inches or nearly 3 foot 4.
This would either suggest child growth rates aren’t a reliable indicator of genetic height, or genetics have the potential to supersede nutrition.
Average Heights in Nigeria
Average heights for 7-year-old children in Nigeria are around 44.1 inches for girls and 45.3 inches for boys. This translates to 3 foot 4 inches for females and 3 foot 5 for males.
These averages are slightly higher than Afghanistan’s and on par with the lower end of the U.S. average. These figures would again seem to suggest DNA’s primary role in height and development.
Around the world, the average heights of 7-year-old children are relatively similar. Although there are some variances, a typical 7-year-old is between 3 foot 2 inches and 3 foot 5 inches.
Comparisons of countries seem to point to DNA as being the major determinant of a person’s height.