What Is Considered Tall in Taiwan?

As you travel the world, you’ll notice big differences in average heights (and weights). Generally, East Asia tends to be on the shorter side. But what about Taiwan? What counts as “tall” in Taiwan nowadays?

The average height in Taiwan is 5’8″ (173 cm) for men and 5’3″ (160 cm) for women. If you’re 6’0″ (183 cm), you’re definitely “tall” in Taiwan, as you’re taller than ~98% of people in Taiwan. Even an average American man (5’9″, 175 cm) is taller than 71% of men and 99% of women in Taiwan.

Below, I’ll share height comparison tables, so you can see how you compare to Taiwanese people. I’ll also discuss the reasons why Taiwanese people are getting taller in more recent decades.

Average Height in Taiwan

The average man in Taiwan is 5’8″ (173 cm), and the average woman is 5’3″ (160 cm). (source)

Here are some comparisons to put that into context:

  • On average, Taiwanese men are 4 cm (1.6″) shorter than men from the U.S., 5 cm (2.0″) shorter than men from Canada and the U.K., and 6 cm (2.4″) shorter than men from Australia.
  • On average, Taiwanese women are 3 cm (1.2″) shorter than women from the U.S., 4 cm (1.6″) shorter than women from the U.K., and 5 cm (2.0″) shorter than women from Canada and Australia.

We’ll look at how Taiwan compares to other Asian countries for height below. But next, let’s look at the distribution of different heights in Taiwan.

Height Comparison Tables

Have you wondered how your height would compare to Taiwanese men and women? Well, you can use the following two tables to check.

First, let’s see how your height compares to Taiwanese men. (Note: These tables assume you’re comparing your height to an adult around 30 years old.)

Your HeightYou Are Taller Than ____% of Taiwanese Men.
4’10” (147 cm)~0%
4’11” (150 cm)0.1%
5’0″ (152 cm)0.3%
5’1″ (155 cm)0.8%
5’2″ (157 cm)2%
5’3″ (160 cm)5%
5’4″ (163 cm)10%
5’5″ (165 cm)18%
5’6″ (168 cm)29%
5’7″ (170 cm)43%
5’8″ (173 cm)58%
5’9″ (175 cm)71%
5’10” (178 cm)83%
5’11” (180 cm)91%
6’0″ (183 cm)95%
6’1″ (185 cm)98%
6’2″ (188 cm)99.3%
6’3″ (191 cm)99.8%
6’4″ (193 cm)99.9%
6’5″+ (196+ cm)~100%
How does your height compare to Taiwanese men? (source)

Now, let’s take a look at how your height compares to Taiwanese women:

Your HeightYou Are Taller Than ____% of Taiwanese Women.
4’6″ (137 cm)~0%
4’7″ (140 cm)0.1%
4’8″ (142 cm)0.2%
4’9″ (145 cm)0.7%
4’10” (147 cm)2%
4’11” (150 cm)5%
5’0″ (152 cm)11%
5’1″ (155 cm)21%
5’2″ (157 cm)35%
5’3″ (160 cm)51%
5’4″ (163 cm)67%
5’5″ (165 cm)80%
5’6″ (168 cm)89%
5’7″ (170 cm)95%
5’8″ (173 cm)98%
5’9″ (175 cm)99.3%
5’10” (178 cm)99.8%
5’11″+ (180+ cm)~100%
How does your height compare to Taiwanese women? (source)

Why Are Taiwanese People So Short?

The two biggest factors that determine height are thought to be  genetics and nutrition. It’s believed that genetics determine 60% to 80% of your height, while nutrition determines the other 20% to 40%. (source)

So, how does that explain the height of Taiwanese people?

It’s been suggested in Discover that Asian populations may be shorter due to the gene HMGA2. The “short” allele of this gene appears more common in East Asian populations, compared to Europe and Africa.

So that may explain part of the genetic component. But nutrition also seems to play a big role—and we can see this impact in the way that heights in Taiwan are changing in recent decades.

Are Taiwanese People Getting Taller?

Over the past century, many countries have seen major increases in average height. Taiwan is indeed one of those countries, although it does not top the list.

One study compared increasing heights in three East Asian countries—Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. It found these populations have all grown taller, but at different rates. It found nutrition and genetics to both be important factors.

Really, average heights have been increasing around the world in recent decades. This is especially true in countries that have developed rapidly, as Taiwan has.

As populations rise out of poverty, better maternal and child nutrition and healthcare leads to taller heights.

Height in Taiwan vs Other Countries

Now let’s take a look at how Taiwan fits in with several other East Asian and Southeast Asian countries for height:

CountryFemale Avg. HeightMale Avg. Height
Cambodia5’1″ (154 cm)5’5″ (165 cm)
China5’4″ (163 cm)5’9″ (175 cm)
Indonesia5’1″ (154 cm)5’5″ (166 cm)
Japan5’2″ (158 cm)5’8″ (172 cm)
Malaysia5’2″ (157 cm)5’6″ (168 cm)
Philippines5’1″ (154 cm)5’5″ (165 cm)
Singapore5’3″ (161 cm)5’8″ (173 cm)
South Korea5’4″ (163 cm)5’9″ (175 cm)
Taiwan5’3″ (160 cm)5’8″ (173 cm)
Thailand5’3″ (159 cm)5’7″ (171 cm)
Vietnam5’2″ (158 cm)5’6″ (168 cm)
Average Heights in Asia by Country. (Source)

As you can see, the shortest countries here are Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Meanwhile, the tallest are South Korea and China.

Taiwan fits somewhere in the middle, but more on the taller end of the spectrum. Taiwan has very similar average heights as Singapore—and pretty close to Japan and Thailand, as well.

In the end, “tall” is a subjective and imprecise term. That said, being over 6’0″ (183 cm) as a man, or 5’7″ (171 cm) as a woman, would put you in the tallest 5% in Taiwan. So most people would consider you tall if you’re that tall or taller.