Dutch getting heavier, slightly taller

Police officers on a crowded street
Police officers on a crowded streetPhoto: Politie

Both men and women in the Netherlands have grown heavier and slightly taller since 1981, according to Statistics Netherlands' health survey. Between 1981 and 2018, men on average grew 3.8 centimeters taller and 9 kilograms heavier, while women grew 1.5 centimeters taller and 7 kilograms heavier.

That means that men are now an average of 2.3 kilograms heavier per centimeter of body height, and women 4.7 kilograms. According to the stats office, women became "fairly considerably" heavier in the periods 1990 to 2000 and 2010 to 2019, while their height hardly changed.

Statistics Netherlands also found that the tallest people live in Friesland and Groningen, and the shortest in Limburg and Noord-Brabant. Residents of Friesland and Groningen are on average 3 centimeters taller than residents of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. 

Dutch men are now an average of 1.81 meters tall and women 1.67 meters. Most Netherlands residents are close to the average heights. 42 percent of men have a height that is less than 5 centimeters above or below average, and this is the case for 50 percent of women.