Is Height Genetic?


Hey smart people, Joe here. I am a descendent of giants. With a grandfather, dad, two uncles, and an
aunt all towering over 6 feet tall. We are the people you don’t want to stand
behind at a Bon Jovi concert, but we’re also the people who can get that thing off
the top shelf for you. At 6’3”, I turned out to be the short
one in the family. Now that I have a son myself, I’m wondering
if he’s going to be tall too. Is height only written in our genes or is
there something else that determines how tall we get? [OPEN] These days, the average American woman is
about five foot four, while the average Joe American male is about five foot nine. But… human height has had its ups and downs
over the centuries. Three million years ago, our ancestor Australopithecus
only stood about four feet tall. One-and-a-half million years later , Homo
erectus, the first early human to use complex tools, reached up to five foot seven. And by the Stone Age, men of the Gravettian
hunter-gatherer culture in Europe stood at an average of 6 feet. Most of the historical data we have is for
male height, because… reasons. Then agriculture happened. When Europeans switched to a lower-protein,
higher-grain diet, men gradually lost 8 inches in height, on average. And they stayed that way for thousands of
years. By the time the 18th century rolled around,
the average European man was only five foot five inches tall. But when those Europeans emigrated to America,
their kids grew up to be five foot eight inches tall on average. A huge jump in just a generation. During the Industrial Revolution heights took
a dip due to urban crowding and disease, but soon after, the human height boom continued
and continues today. Every decade for the past couple centuries
Europeans have grown an average of about half an inch. Today, Dutch men are the tallest people in
the world, with an average height of just over 6 feet – back to where those Gravettians
started 8 millennia ago. These fluctuations of height, sometimes within
a single generation, show that our environment determines a big part of how tall we are. But people in different regions, and different
families, show us that height has genetic causes too. So which has a bigger role, nature? Or nurture? In the early 19th century, scientists first
noticed a correlation between people’s heights and their wealth – people from poor backgrounds
tended to be shorter than people who were more well-off. Instead of asking whether someone’s upbringing
might influence their height, many scholars at the time decided tallness was a physical
mark of “superior” humans. Francis Galton – who would later become infamous
for popularizing eugenics – was the first scientist to conduct a large-scale, systematic
study of height. He precisely measured the height of thousands
of people as part of a sort of scientific side show. But Galton’s results were confusing. Parents’ heights often didn’t predict
the heights of their kids. The heights of siblings on the other hand,
were much closer. This inspired scientists to look at height
in twins. Studying twins can teach us a ton about how
genes and environments influence human attributes. Fraternal twins can be as different genetically
as any other pair of siblings, with the added advantage of being exactly the same age. Identical twins are genetically, well, identical. So we can see how much genetic carbon copies
end up differing. And twins separated at birth offer a window
into what happens when genetically identical individuals grow up in very different environments. Turns out that twins, especially identical
twins, tend to be close in height – but not exactly the same. Twin studies, like history, show us genes
can only be part of the story when it comes to height. So how big a part? In 2007, scientists compared height and DNA
between more than 11,000 pairs of siblings and found that, across humans, 86% of height’s
variation can be explained by genetics. As traits go, this is very high; for comparison,
genetics only explains about 26% of left-handedness. So we should be able to predict a person’s
height from his or her DNA right? Not so fast. We know genes make a huge difference, just
not which genes. So far, scientists have identified about 800
genes that influence height, but many of them only make a tiny contribution. Take HGMA2, one of the first genes linked
to height. Having one copy of the “tall” version
only “lifts” a person about an eighth of an inch, so even if you inherit a copy
from both of your parents, that still only gains you a quarter of an inch at most. Altogether, the 800 height genes we know of
can only explain 27% of how height varies between people. There’s clearly lots of genetic influence
we don’t understand. Maybe the effects of some genes add up in
unexpected ways – genes may interact in combinations, where four and four makes sixteen, not eight. If we could just study the DNA of all the
7 billion people on Earth, maybe we would find all the genes that affect height. Or maybe we’d find that scientists have
overestimated the contribution of genetics? Because our environment, defined by health
and diet, certainly has a hand in shaping our height. South Koreans today are more than an inch
taller than North Koreans, despite minimal genetic differences. Clearly, one’s diet during childhood, is
a crucial in determining adult height. That’s why humans shrank with the switch
to agriculture and again during the Industrial Revolution. Today, most scientists agree that nature and
nurture combine to shape our height. Some even propose calling height an “omnigenic”
trait – one that nearly all our genes influence in some way. For now, the only surefire way to know how
tall you’ll end up… is just to wait and see. Stay curious!

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100 thoughts on “Is Height Genetic?”

  1. Jeanesy says:

    Dad – 5'6
    Mum – 5'8
    Me – 5'11/6'0

    Will I keep growing or am I done at this point.

  2. Mini bikes and Dinghys says:

    Dad 6’2 uncle 6’5 other uncle 6’10 other uncle 6’7 grandpa 5’9

  3. Woosh IfBoomer says:

    Nice vid joe

  4. Indefatigable Boy says:

    This is a message to all of you, another factor that influences in height is when you hit puberty. Generally if you hit puberty late, then you will grow taller. Take me for example
    Father – 6’2
    Mother 5’4
    In school everyone hit puberty when they were 13/14 and everyone was suddenly 5’8-5’10. At 13.5 I was only 5’3 but still had not hit puberty. When I turned 14 and I still had not hit puberty and I was around 5’6. At 14.5 close but not there yet and I was 5’8. Then at 14 years 7 months I finally hit puberty, and then around 2 months later I grow an inch, making me 5’9, and then a 6 inch growth spurt hit which continued throughout a 2 year period, by the time I was almost 17, I was already 6’4. All my friends who hit puberty at 13 and were towering over me at 5’10, while I was 5’3 at 13.5 are all now up to my shoulders. If you hit puberty at 12-14 and you are currently 5’9-5’11, you can conclude that you have finished growing or have very little to grow.

  5. Mutafa Rahmani says:

    1:58 I'm dutch 6,1 tall

  6. eDance Studios says:

    I’m 5”7 and 15 years of age, just wanting to know if it is possible to grow and extra 4 inches.

  7. TheStar_knight 18 says:

    Right now Indonesians are the shortest people on the planet, and among all my friends, I'm usually about 5-10 cm shorter than them. ( 2-4 inches ) So does that make me ultra short????

  8. Iron Mike says:


    Super tall guys: I’m actually the short one in my family…

  9. iSA mEmE says:

    mom: 6"9
    dad: 42'0
    me: high

  10. PG#5 says:

    U gotta drink a lot of milk and eat a lot. Also just do exercises which really boosts ur chances of growing a lot.

  11. Jason Garciaa says:

    Im the older one and my sibling is taller than me

  12. Dreamy Luma says:

    Me: trying to get shorter

    My 7"2 genes: Expert mode activated

  13. Sam Smith says:

    Haha, you americans are so short.

  14. Angel Molina says:

    Mom- 5’1
    Dad- 5’8
    Me- 5’2 in men height in the us
    My life is terrible I’m already 21 there’s no hope for me to get taller at least I don’t think :/

  15. Michael Russell says:

    My mum, 55yo, dark blue eyes, 5'4, A positive, right handed overweight.
    My dad, light blue eyes, 59 yo, 5'11, b positive, right handed, obese.
    Me, 29yo, blue and green eyes, 5'8, A negative, left handed, normal weight.
    Son, blue eyes, 13yo 4'7, A negative, left handed, Skinny.
    Daughter, hazel eyes, 10yo, 4ft. A negative, right handed, chubby.
    If you grow you grow.

  16. Dante Björck says:

    im 180 cm, my dad is 189 and my mom 163 can i be as tall as my dad or atleast 185?

  17. max.keiller01 says:

    I’m a fraternal twin and I’m the exact same height as my twin (6’1”)

  18. M Asif says:

    Iam 5 7 my younger brother is 6 2

  19. Kleineganz says:

    My mom was 5'2" and I was told my dad was 5'8" and I wound up 5'4" … smack dab in the middle!

  20. Mark Lawson says:

    Height: increases

    Short people: hold my beer

  21. Spartan Nation says:

    Dad: 5’5 mom: 5’3 Me: 6’2

  22. Stewart Griffin says:

    guy: Dutch are the tallest men

    South Sudan: Am I a joke to you?

  23. Gamieingbro says:

    Me 5’7 at 13

  24. masked triggas says:

    Mom 5’0
    Dad 5’6
    Me 5’5 so far (age 16)

  25. Andrew Suyo says:

    Mom 5"2
    Dad 5"10
    Me 6"3
    Older brother 5"11
    Grandpa 5"8
    Grandma 5"2
    Best friend 6"3
    Girlfriend 5"4
    Neighbor 6"0
    Cousin(boy) 5"11
    Cousin( girl) 5"4
    Aunt 5"1
    Uncle 5"8
    Step dad 6"2
    Step brother 6"5
    Step sister 5"10
    Step mom 5"9

  26. LeoTheGamer 4 says:

    My family kinda short
    Dad 5"11
    Mom 4"11
    Uncle 5"10
    Aunt 5"1
    Older brother 6"1
    Grampa 5"10
    Me(I'm 12) 5"4

  27. Carlos Gomez says:

    My family is short

    Mom 4"11
    Dad 5"5
    Brother 5"8
    Uncle 5"6
    Aunt 5"0
    Gramps 5"7
    Me( I'm 14) 5"7
    Doctor say I'll be 5"10 but my parents say I won't grow anymore but hope it's not true

  28. Kentrell Glocks says:

    Im 5'10 and im only 13

  29. Jimmy says:

    My mom: 5'0
    My dad: 5'4
    Me: 6'0
    Asian background

  30. Josué Caleb Figueroa Ortiz says:

    Mom 5'5
    Dad 6'3
    Daughter 5'8
    Son (17 years) 6'2
    Son (me i am 15) 6'0 :'(:'(

  31. Jacko Wacko says:

    I’m 6’3, my dad is 6’3 and my grandad is 6’5.

  32. Andrew Suyo says:

    As in now I'm 6"4 grew an inch and I still got like 2 more inches to grow cuz I'm 13

  33. bersercroc says:

    My relatives says that i'm so tall for my age that i should join basketball. Although sports or being athletic isn't my thing either.

  34. DeMar DeRozan says:

    Everyone calm down and look at my picture… i was walking down the shoreline and decided to sit

  35. Reeve says:

    Of course not

  36. Daniel Too Fresh says:

    hmmmmmmmmm 🤔🤔🤔

  37. Anya Lazorina says:

    *Most of the historical data we have is for male size because – reasons 🤢 *

  38. Fernando Velásquez says:

    I'm 167cm, my dad is 163 and my grandfather 165.

  39. TheKryptorzink says:

    Mom – 4'11
    Dad – 5'8

    Me – 5'2 for now 🙁

  40. NACHO MIRANDA says:

    Callense bitches,good video

  41. Gab De Burat says:

    So my mom is 5”4 and my dad is 5”5 and im already 5”10 at 13 yrs old. Will i still grow?


    Losing weight while getting taller makes you look slimmer and more taller instead of droopy

  43. H O says:

    My mum is 4’9 my dad is 5’5 (my mum is Filipina and my dad is Italian)
    And I’m 16 and 4’11 and my sister is 19 and 5’1 :(( nothing I can do though

  44. kim jong un says:


  45. G Shots says:

    I’m 6ft 7 230 pounds 😂

  46. Shimohira Reika says:

    So height is as complex as the question to the meaning of life?

  47. Mr.Halo_cloud says:

    Joe whats your last name

  48. Jazzfan 285 says:

    Man i dont give a damn about European. Dislike

  49. Dick Zucker says:

    Dad – 6ft
    Me- 5'5 (15 y.o)


  50. ch candy says:

    Tallness was a physical mark of superior humans
    Napoleon : left the chat

  51. JustAMaddie says:

    I pp on the pepole that call me short

  52. Luu Minh Tri Nguyen says:

    Dad is 5’6.
    Mom is 5’2.

    I’m 5’10 and I’m 14.

    The thing is I’m Vietnamese

  53. Isiah Reihana says:

    Mom: 6'3
    Dad: just under 7 foot
    11 yr old younger brother: 6'1
    Me: 15 and 5'8😭

  54. Midnight Thunder says:

    Mom : 5’3”
    Dad : 6’2”
    Me : 5’9” 1/2 (currently 15 years old still)
    IDK but I think it’ll be possible for me to either be 5’11” or 6ft

  55. N I says:

    You should make a video of whether vegans or non vegans who are behaving more naturally according to evolution

  56. Its LeviosUHHH says:

    Mother 5'1
    Father 5'8
    Grandfather 5'1
    Grandmother 4'10
    Me 5'6

  57. Gey Gey says:

    I somewhat agree because my dad is 5'5
    My mom is 5'2 or 5'0

    And right now I'm currently 5'9.

  58. Neythan Solis says:

    My mom 5’7 my dad 6’1, and I’m 5’9 and I’m age 15

  59. Self Elements says:

    I'm admittedly obsessed about height, and body type. Perhaps because I'm short, also because I love high performance sports and women in general too. Like how much does height and body type affect performance in professional sports, and why some women can do certain movement that is more gentler, smooth and sexier than others. Probably it boils down to genetics also. But height continues to be a mystery to me. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the climate directly affecting hormones, nutrition, sleep and puberty. Not sure about that.

  60. Kaeden Guzman says:

    Does Mobotallor Secrets really work? I see many people keep on speaking about Mobotallor Secrets. But Im not sure if it is good enough to exceed your natural height.

  61. Tina Morandi says:

    What is the best product or brand to achieve the height that you desire? I read a lot of great reviews on the internet about how exactly Mobotallor Secrets will help you exceed your natural height. Has anybody tried using this grow taller method?

  62. impact 5546 says:

    Dad 6 mom 5 '3 me 13 5'1.5 sister 4'11 and 11 grandma from moms side 5'1 grandpa from moms side 5'8.5 my dads side grandma 5'11 dads side grandpa 5'10.5 aunts from dads side both 5'9 and my uncle 6'1 now my uncle from moms is 5'10.5 and my moms sister is 5'4 and my cousins on my dads side are 6'3 5'9 5'10 and 5'8 moms side cousins are 5'3 5'2 5'8 and 5'9

  63. Monika Jamroz says:

    What is Mobotallor Secrets? Does it work? I hear many people increase their height fast naturally with this grow taller secrets.

  64. iceCyu Gaming says:

    both of my parents are 5'5 and im 5'10 lmao

  65. River Pearson says:

    What do you think of grow taller fast naturally using Mobotallor Secrets? I notice many people keep on speaking about Mobotallor Secrets.

  66. Priscilla Cabrera says:

    What is Mobotallor Secrets? Does it work? I hear many individuals grow taller with this increase height method.

  67. charmaine burn says:

    Hello there, I want to know if Mobotallor Secrets, will work for me? I notice a lot of people keep on speaking about this grow taller method.

  68. Zara Carr says:

    As expert, I'm sure Mobotallor Secrets can be great way to achieve the height that you desire. Why not give it a shot? maybe it is going to work for you too.

  69. haywoodtuk1964 says:

    What do you think of grow taller fast naturally using Mobotallor Secrets? I notice lots of people keep on speaking about Mobotallor Secrets.

  70. Norman Dapolito says:

    Is Mobotallor Secrets useful to grow 4 inches taller? I've learn numerous good things about this grow taller secrets.

  71. Joachim Grek says:

    Get your facts right.. In 1996-97 when I was in the nineth grade, the swedish avrage hight was 178 cm or 5´10" in the male "adult" population. Not under 5´6" as your chart shows.
    You might want to check the rest for accuracy too?

  72. Lily Holder says:

    They predicted I’d be 5”1’ and I’m 4”9’

  73. Henrry Gonzales says:

    Mom: 5“2
    Dad: 5“6
    My big Brother:6“4
    Me: 7“3

  74. Juan Morales says:

    Mother- grandfather 6’8
    father -grandfather 5’11
    Mother-grandmother 5’5
    father -grandmother 5’9
    Father 5’8
    Mother 5’2
    Sis 5’8
    Oder bother 6’1 huh
    So when I’m fully grown I might be 6 feet

  75. PsychoMode says:

    its okay if the sky falls down the tall people die first.

  76. Arik Raheja says:

    Can nature and nurture help a person gain height even after the desired age??

  77. uhh ok says:

    so it's both

  78. Fish Drowner says:

    Never knew 6 foot 3 is short

  79. mark byarugaba says:

    SOUTH SUDANESE are way taller than any dutch folks I've met.

  80. Kaeden Guzman says:

    Guys. achieve the height that you desire does not need to be hard (I used to think it did). I will give you some advice right now. Get a increase height secrets called Mobotallor Secrets (do a search on google). Thanks to it I have increase my height fast naturally. I should not even be speaking about it cause I don't want a bunch of other guys out there running exactly the same game but whatever. I'm just in a excellent mood right now and so I'll share the wealth haha.

  81. Jonnie Waters says:

    Anyone tested out the Mobotallor Secrets (search on google)? I've noticed numerous amazing things about this increase height system.

  82. Brooks Addison says:

    Has anyone used the Mobotallor Secrets to exceed your natural height? Just simply do a google search. On there you'll find an awesome guidelines about how you can grow 4 inches taller. Why not give it a chance? maybe it is going to work for you too.

  83. River Pearson says:

    What is Mobotallor Secrets and how does it work? I hear many people achieving the height that they desire with this increase height method.

  84. Isaiah Gonzales says:

    if you want your son or daughter to be tall, make out with Dutch, for sure

  85. Mike Gibson says:

    Does Mobotallor Secrets really help to achieve the height that you desire? I have read numerous good stuff about this grow taller method.

  86. Ryker Noble says:

    Anyone know what is Mobotallor Secrets about? I hear lots of people exceed their natural height with this grow taller secrets.

  87. That FatCat says:

    5:02 bugs me

  88. Miranda Russo says:

    Does Mobotallor Secrets (do a search on google) help me exceed my natural height? I notice a lot of people keep on speaking about this increase height method.

  89. Akira Villarreal says:

    Hi there, I want to know if Mobotallor Secrets, will really work for me? I see lots of people keep on talking about this grow taller method.

  90. Kaeden Guzman says:

    I notice many people keep on talking about Mobotallor Secrets. But Im not sure if it is good. Have you ever tried using this grow taller system?

  91. Kenneth Farrell says:

    Guys. increase your height fast naturally doesn't need to be hard (I used to feel it did). I will give you some advice now. Get a increase height secrets called Mobotallor Secrets (search on google). Thanks to it I have grow 4 inches taller. I probably should not even be talking about it cause I don't really want a lot of other guys out there running exactly the same game but whatever. I am just simply in a great mood right now and so I will share the wealth lol.

  92. Małgosia Kocimska says:

    Is Mobotallor Secrets useful to exceed your natural height? I've read many good things about this grow taller method.

  93. Lars van der Laan says:

    1:57 how did the dutch go backwards in time and grow

  94. John Kinsey says:

    Identical twins are not exactly genetically identical.

  95. djzueua says:

    Mom: 5'6
    Dad: 5'4
    Me: 5'9

    do i still have a chance to get taller?

  96. Shaheer Khan says:

    My dad :6ft my mom 5/8 and me 5/9 my brother 6/1

  97. Christian Holly says:

    Me: 5'7(im 13.62)
    Mom: 5'4
    Dad: 6'0
    Older brother(dad side): around 5'8
    Older sister(dad side): around 5'4
    Older brother(mom side): 6'1 or 6'2
    Older sister(mom side): 5'5.5
    Younger sister: 5'5( 12 years)
    Youngest sister: 4'7(8 years)
    Mom's dad: around 5'8 or 5'9
    Mom's mom: around 5'4
    Dad's dad: around 5'10
    Dad's mom: around 5'2
    How tall will I be?

  98. Leo ! says:

    Me (13): 162cm (5'3.5)
    Mum: 164cm (5'4)
    Dad: 170cm (5'7)
    Sister (11) only 138cm (4'6)
    On the other hand, the shortest person in my class is 147cm (4'11) and the tallest is 176cm (5'9). Of course genetics is involved but obviously the environment too.

  99. James Scully says:


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