Did you know that the average height for women in Canada is 161 cm? Anything above 5'8 in Canada is considered tall for a woman.
However, if you are above 5'8, there is no cause for alarm. Human beings don't control all of the factors influencing height.
Being tall is a valuable asset for your quality of life. Research highlights that tall people are less likely to suffer heart disease and stroke. Also, during childbirth, taller women and their children are less likely to have complications.
Height and weight are more than exciting figures. They're indicators of nutrition and healthcare. Keep reading to learn more about women's height in Canada.
Average Female Height in Canada
The average height for women in Canada is not a cut and dry number as people from different countries tend to grow to different heights. There are multiple socioeconomic, nutritional and cultural elements that go into factoring these numbers. Canada however, is unique because our population is comprised of 21% immigrants. That's a big number. And it's also in the number one spot on the planet for the most immigrants. What that means is that it's difficult to take the previously mentioned socioeconomic and other factors into play. However when we looked at these numbers again in April of 2022, we found that Canadian women grew a touch. From 162cm in 2021, to 162.3cm in 2022 (5'4").
The Evolution of Height in Women
Women's height has changed substantially and unevenly over the past centuries. In the past century, Canadian women have been growing taller.
In the early 1900s, women were around 5'1. Since 1940, the average height for women has been more than 5'3.
Globally, people generally grow taller but at different rates. For instance, while Canadian women continue to increase in height, the world has caught up and gone beyond them.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Canadian women were the sixth tallest women globally, measuring at 157.6 cm. Today, Canadian women rank as the 40th tallest in the world, at 162 cm.
If you hold fantasies of meeting a high-flying hipster chick, you may have to look beyond Canada.
Generally, the human species is growing in height. If you have toured a home in Boston built during the Revolutionary War, you can see the difference.
The houses have low ceilings and small door frames, which suggests the average height of people then.
If you visit houses built in the early 1800s, you will be left wondering how people stayed in the homes.
Evolution explains the continuous increase in human height. However, this increase began in the middle of the nineteenth century.
With time, the increase in human height has drastically levelled off. It implies that there is an upper limit to a height beyond our genes. Despite continuous improvement in environment and living conditions, don't expect human height to reach that of skyscrapers.
So, what makes you as tall you are?
Don't miss our great read on the average height for men in Canada.Read Now
What Can Influence Height?
You may have been wondering why you are shorter or taller than others. Here are some factors that are believed to influence height.
Human height variation is subject to genetic and environmental factors. DNA sequence variants influence eighty percent of an individual's height.
Will your children’s height be around yours? The answer is probably yes. By rule of thumb, your height is based on how tall your parents are.
Beyond genes, the family environment can significantly determine your height. A family environment with a healthy exercise culture offers an opportunity for height increases.
Access to health information determines how well a family nurtures the child's development phase.
That doesn't mean you can go to the gym to increase your height. If you are beyond puberty, you need to get used to your height. At that point, you have a very slim chance to increase your height.
Beyond puberty, growth plates stop making new bones.
During puberty or the child development phase, regular exercise would work the magic. Exercise is essential for normal physical development.
Playing or engaging in sports can help your teenage girl become healthier and stronger.
How long should you sleep to get that ideal height? Again, if you are beyond puberty, your window for increasing your height is closing.
Sleep during child development phases is a valuable asset in influencing height. People release growth hormones during sleep. If your child consistently gets too little sleep, their growth hormones decline.
Occasionally skimping on sleep will not make you shorter in the long term. If you are a teen studying for exams, that one late night does not really count.
The ideal sleeping hours varies depending on age:
- 0 – 3 months: 14-17 hours of sleep
- 3 – 11 months: 12 – 17 hours
- 1 – 2 years: 11-14 hours
- 3 – 5 years: 10 –13 hours
- 6 – 13 years: 11 hours
- 14 – 18 years: 9 hours
If you are a mom, make sure your child gets enough sleep to avoid stunted growth.
During growing years, the body needs a wide set of nutrients. It needs fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and dairy. Avoid foods containing sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats.
If your child has an underlying condition that causes their height to decline, increase their intake of some nutrients. Increasing calcium intake can help increase bone density and strength.
Vitamin D also promotes bone health.
A good nutrition plan for your child increases their height and improves their general health quality.
Some studies recommend supplements to increase height. Note that there are only a few cases where supplements are appropriate for this course, such as if your child has a condition that restricts human growth hormones.
Supplements can promise you model heights. However, if your growth plates have fused, there's no chance you can increase your height.
Don’t fall for scam advertisements by supplement companies.
The primary hormones responsible for your adult height are human growth hormones. In slow-growing children with idiopathic conditions, growth hormones can increase their adult height by 1 to 2 inches.
Other growth hormones that can influence your height are:
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
- Luteinizing hormone
- Thyroid hormone
- Testosterone and estrogen
If you realize slow growth in your child’s health, you can consult professionals to review how to boost specific hormones.
Heights vary across different nations, races, and ethnic groups. An Israeli research team found that the environment one lives in the first year of their life determines an adult's height.
Research shows that 80 percent of people's height is based on genetics, while 20 percent is due to the environment.
Different locations have different cultures on nutrition and exercising. Some regions have practices that can stunt growth. Growing up in environments that encourage healthy lifestyles can boost your child’s height.
How Provinces May Play a Role in Height
There's no question that genetics by far, are the largest determining factor when it comes to height. But how, and does the province you live in play a role as well? It sure can.
Your habits, both bad and good, impacts your health and growth cycle so it makes sense that if you live in an overall healthy province, you are probably a little taller then if you lived in an unhealthy one. On that note, let's take a look at which provinces are more likely to have taller women based on how they rank health wise. Starting from the healthiest, to the not so healthy.
1. British Columbia
This yoga, fresh air and nature inspired province comes out on top. Not only do they have a life expectancy of 82.2 years (highest on the planet) but BC'ers generally make more sound lifestyle choices. They have very low smoking and drinking rates and the majority of the population are physically active during their leisure time.
Second in line to BC and the most populous province in Canada, Ontarians for the most part can also boast about their healthy lifestyles. Most live in communities with safe drinking water, affordable housing and food and lots of parks and green space.
The Quebecois have a thriving cultural scene which contributes to overall happiness. They do however have a much higher smoking and drinking rate which results in more folks with heart disease and other serious health issues.
4. Prince Edward Island
Despite being a seaside community, unfortunately these Maritimer's have higher then normal cancer rates resulting in mortality. More to that, 47% of health workers who completed exit interviews claimed that their reason for leaving was due to a "toxic environment".
Even though 8 out of 10 Albertans claim they are happy, very much like Quebec, Albertans have a high rates of heart disease and stroke due to smoking and drinking. The life expectancy however sits at 81.3 years which is consistent with the national average.
6. New Brunswick
New Brunswick takes a hit when it comes to high rates of diabetes and cancer mortality rates. As a result, these Maritimer's have a declining life expectancy which is not consistent with Canada's overall increasing life expectancy. In New Brunswick, the quality of life and socioeconomic factors contribute to a lower then average health status
7. Nova Scotia
Here is another example of a province that loses health points due to cancer, and as such extremely high deaths rates as a result. Unfortunately, the province also has very high infant mortality rates and low levels of life expectancy.
Manitoba's infant rate of mortality ranks the highest out of all the provinces. As well, this province ranks very close to the bottom of the list when it comes to Canada's health care system. Many Albertans lead a sedentary lifestyle and have an unfortunate amount of smokers and drinkers.
Nearly 4 of 5 Prairie folk lead unhealthy lifestyle. A whopping 72% have two or more unhealthy habits. Obesity in Saskatchewan is currently at an all time high and the life expectancy sits below the national average at 79.7 years.
10. Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador bring home a D in lifestyle factors due to heavy drinking, smoking, obesity rates, lack of physical activity and very low consumptions of fruits and vegetables. In fact, this province is the very first to ever act out against unhealthy beverages.
Albeit a gorgeous province, the folks in the Yukon don't enjoy a very long life expectancy. (77.4) They have one of the highest rates of cancer in all of Canada along with above average infant mortality rates.
12. Northwest Territories
Very much like its neighbours to the north, the Northwest Territories suffers obesity, respiratory illnesses and very high smoking rates. Poor socio-economic conditions and poor access to fresh fruits and vegetables play a role as well.
A staggering 27% of the population of Nunavut is classified as obese and also admits to smoking at least one cigarette per day. As with the Northwest Territories, the people in Nunavut have very limited access to fresh produce. More, their life expectancy is 71.8 which is a full decade below the national average.
How X/Y Chromosomes Can Impact Height
Both sex chromosomes determine the height of a child. In men, the Y chromosome is essential for height.
People with Turner syndrome are typically short. This is associated with the lack of an X chromosome. Deletion in the nonrecombining region of Yq affects adult height negatively.
Women who lack one of the two X chromosomes have below average height. The defect requires further research. Despite the chromosome defect, the women have normal thyroid hormones.
The complication in height due to chromosomes is not due to the loss of a chromosome. However, it is due to the lack of a specific region that is normally active.
The information on chromosomes might sound like rocket science. However, if you have concerns about your child's height, health, or growth, consult a physician for valuable health information. Good health insurance will help you get all the answers.
Everyone deserves and should strive for a healthy height or weight. The ideal average height for women varies depending on regions and individual preferences.
Achieving a healthy height and weight is dependent on one's lifestyle. Although genes play a significant role in determining how tall you become, your nutrition and exercise matter.
If you are an adult, your opportunity to increase height is narrow. However, you can do something for your children: Encourage a healthy lifestyle.
If your child’s average height or growth is slow, consult a physician as soon as possible. Don’t wait until it's too late. Check out our website for more resourceful health information and insights.