So you are a short man. But how short are you. The Height Analyzer that is being loaded in another window will answer your questions about your height in relation to the rest of the male and female population. It may take one or two minutes to load and start. Once it has started, use these instructions to find out what you need to know about height in the United States[1].

  1. Select your sex. The calculator starts up for Men but Women can use it too. For now, leave the setting on Men and continue through the instructions.

  2. Select your height. This drop down menu is located on top, just under the Men/Women selector. The default is 5' 6" which we will use in these instructions. Later, when you have learned how to use the Height Analyzer, we'll ask you to enter your own height.

  3. Notice the top graph. The top graph shows the distribution of men's height in the United States. This is most well known as a bell curve, because it is shaped as a bell. The median height for men in the United States is 5' 8½"[2]. This means that half of all men are taller than this height and half are shorter[3]. As you can see from the bell curve, most men's height are near the median. As you look at heights in either direction away from the median, there are smaller numbers of men at that height. The bell curve is also called the normal curve. The middle 95% (mathematically, plus or minus two standard deviations) is the normal range. 93.6% of men are between 5' 3" and 6' 2".

    The mathematics of the bell curve work not only for men's height but for people's weight, IQ, size of sunspots, etc.

  4. Taller and Smaller. For what ever height you are, a portion of the population is taller than you and another portion is smaller than you. A 5' 6" man is taller than 20% of men and smaller than 80% of men.

  5. Notice the bottom graph. The bottom graph shows the distribution of heights for the opposite sex. For many people, the difference in height between a man and a woman is a significant factor for selecting a date or a mate. The woman's distribution is also a bell curve but is shifted 6" to the left. Women are, on average, are 5" shorter than men.

  6. Select your desired mate's height. There are two drop down menus on the far right; the minimum height you desire in a mate and the maximum. The program starts with the assumption that a woman can be anywhere from 0" to 6" shorter than a man. You can change this assumption, based on your own selection criteria, and the selection criteria that you believe is true of the opposite sex. As you change this assumption, the percentage in the acceptable range changes significantly, especially if you are a very small man or a very tall woman.

  7. The bottom line. Notice that a portion of the bottom graph is colored, pink if the opposite sex is female, blue if male. This colored portion is represents the percentage of people who meet your height criteria. For example. Let's say you are a 5' 6" male. You concur with the programs assumptions that your perfect mate should be between 0 and 6" shorter than yourself, between 5' 0" and 5' 6". The percentage of women who are in this height range is 72.0%. Now let's compare this number to a man closer to the Median Height in the United States. Select 5' 9" and leave the mate's range a the default. Now only 54.9% are within range.

    The shorter a man is, the worse is his percentage of available mates based on height. For a 5' 2" man, the percent of women in the appropriate range is only 29%. For men below 5' 0", the likely percentage drops below 10%.

    Now try changing the Analyzer to your height to see how the numbers look. Also, try changing the range of potential mate's height. While the program assumes that a man and a woman can be the same height, in the United States today, people are very height conscious. Television, movies and advertising tell us that the man must be taller than the woman. Change your mate's height maximum to be two or four inches smaller than you. If you are a short man, your possibilities with the opposite sex become significantly worse.

  8. What S/He Wants. Now we know what you want but what about your potential mate? What are her or his preferences and what are the chances of her or him finding you. Change the Men/Women indicator to see what options are available to the opposite sex. Let's assume you are our default 5' 6" man and you're looking for someone 5' 0" to 5' 6" in height. For a top end, 5' 6" woman, 68.2% of men are in her range. That's a lot of competition for the 5' 6" man. A smaller woman will have fewer choices and may see you as a more viable mate.

The author wishes to stress that this tool should only be used to make generalization about the importance of the height factor in finding a significant other. There are always exceptions and everyone deserves love, no matter how tall they stand.



When the height Analyzer was created, height statistics were only available in the United States. If you have access to Median heights and Standard Deviations for men and women in another country, please send the data to He will include it as an option in the Height Analyzer.


The raw input for the Height Analyzer was taken from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). The study was conducted between 1988 and 1994 and included physical examinations of 30,818 children and adults. Of these, children under 18, women over 60 and men over 65 were removed. Statistics were then calculated for the remaining 12,867 people in the study. Women over 60 and men over 65 were not included in the statistics so that the effect of osteoporosis would not be a factor in height calculations..


In reality, for a man of Median height, some will be exactly the same height. However, that percentage is not significant for this study.