Why Americans are getting shorter

Wealth inequality handed the country's citizens the short end of the stick

Stadiometer to measure height.
American height saw a decline beginning in the 1980s
(Image credit: chameleonseye / Getty Images)

Americans are shrinking! Over the past 100 years, Americans went from being some of the tallest people in the world to ranking somewhere smack in the middle. Though bias from self-reporting has long been considered a factor in this height assessment, experts have confirmed that the population is indeed becoming shorter. That change is due to health factors and nutrition, with the decline overwhelmingly linked to growing wealth inequality in the United States beginning in particular around the 1980s.

A new low

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