Average Height of Mongolians | Why Are Mongolians So Big & Tall?

You might have seen huge wrestlers and intimidating men in TV documentaries, however, are all Mongolian men tall and giant as depicted in movies and pop culture? The simple truth is that Mongolian people would be considered average in most places. They are not necessarily short nor necessarily huge when it comes to world averages. Currently, the average height for Mongolians stands at 171cm for men and 160cm for women. However, there is a significant gap between the average height of youth born after 2000s and ones born before 2000s.

Average Height of Mongolian

I myself measure about 173 centimeter but I felt a little shorter around my peers. However, whenever walking down the streets of Ulaanbaatar I feel slightly taller, to feeling completely average, to feeling slightly shorter based on the crowd of people. So the average distribution seems to be 168cm-175cm, where ~70% of the population fall. My sister who is 160cm often comments how she feels short around people, so the standard distribution seems to be 159cm-165cm for 70% of the population, but do know these are the averages of the population in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city.

Height of Mongolia’s Nomad People

In general, nomads are shorter and skinnier compared to sedentary folk due to nutrition and lifestyle. Usually, nomad men are around 166-170cm mark, where anything above 175cm is considered somewhat tall for men, whereas women are around 155-160cm in height, and anything above 165cm is considered somewhat tall. While nomads are generally skinnier and shorter, you do come across nomads who are built like giants. It’s not too unusual to see Mongols who are 190cm+ in height from time to time out in the countryside.

Height of Mongolia’s Younger Generation

It seems to be the case! The youth who were born after 2000 definitely have certain advantages over people who were born before that. The economy, political stability, and technology have significantly improved over the years. Better nutrition, healthcare, etc seem to have affected the growth of the younger generation. Usually most kids these days seem to be around 175cm and 165cm in height for boys and girls respectively, which is on the higher side of Asia. Younger kids definitely seem to be on par with most Western countries when it comes to height and weight.

How Big Is The Average Mongolian?

Most foreigners and travelers who visit Mongolia comment on how stockier and broader Mongolian people are in general compared with other East Asians, and it definitely seems to be the case. While I can’t find statistical weight charts for Mongolians and other East Asians, just taking from personal experience, usually I wear S or M depending on my weight fluctuations in most Western standard clothing brands. However, whenever traveling in East and Southeast Asian countries, it’s always a nice ego boost to sift through the clothes and have XXL sizes come a bit short and small.
“The first thing that I noticed about the Mongolians is that many of them are very tall.  Secondly, I noticed that many of them seem to have European traits; body shapes, some facial looks, etc.  The Mongolians certainly look differently than the Chinese.  Some do look Chinese, but some also look European mixed, and most look like a combination of Asian and Caucasian.  Even the Mongolians who have primarily Asian features, their body shapes seem more Caucasian than Chinese in that they are taller, have longer limbs, and the proportions of their bodies just look “longer” than the Chinese.” excerpt from scotttravler.com

Why Are Mongolians Bigger Than East Asians?

Now, this is a bold statement to make, but just to clarify Japanese, North Chinese + metropolitan Chinese, and South Koreans are also comparatively bigger than the average Asian. To answer the question though, it mainly has to do with the Mongolian diet and nutrition. Even if a Mongolian is equal in height to other Asians in certain instances, usually on average, they tend to be stockier. Mongolian foods and drinks are heavy in protein and calories. It also helps that a lot of Mongolians drink plenty of milk from a young age and perhaps that is a big influence. Being from a colder climate, the environment tends to favor bigger bodies and sizes, so mainly environmental as well as nutritional differences.

Final Conclusion

While Mongolians are in fact slightly taller and bigger than Asians in general, we are not giants nor house bricks as depicted in movies and documentaries. There are certainly Mongolian men and Mongolian women who are incredibly tall and big, but they mostly come from a background or a lineage of physically gifted wrestlers. Also depending on the individual’s lifestyle, country region, and generation, there is a significant variation. However, there is an upward trend due to better healthcare, nutrition, and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mongolians taller/bigger than Chinese?

Northern Chinese are on par if not a little bit taller, but when it comes to body size, Mongols are broader and stockier.

What was Genghis khan’s height?

While there isn’t much evidence and records of Genghis Khan’s height. It is estimated anywhere between 170 – 190 centimeters. Most likely he was taller than average, perhaps closer to 180cm.

How tall were the Mongols?

Ancient Mongol warriors were described to be stocky, large, and tall by the Chinese. Warriors from that era are estimated to be around 170 or 5’7 inches.

How big were the Mongols?

Due to protein heavy and calorie dense foods, Mongols were significantly stockier and broader than agricultural Asians whose diet mainly consisted of rice.

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