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Dalmatians now the tallest 18-year-olds in the world

(Photo credit: Sime Jadresin)

26 April 2019 – Males from Dalmatia on Croatia’s coast are currently the tallest in the world in the 18-year-old category, that is according to an extensive anthropometric survey among 1,803 young men and 782 girls in 66 schools in 23 cities, aged 17 to 20. 

The survey, conducted in all Croatian coastal counties, as well as in the Karlovac County, showed that the tallest youths in Croatia live in the Split-Dalmatia County with an incredible average of 184.1 cm. 

Makarska holds the record for the city with the tallest youth with the average height of male high school students now 187.6 cm. 

The scientists in the study compared the average height of 18-year-old Dutch men, who are considered the tallest people in the world, which is 182.4 cm, 1.7 cm shorter than their Dalmatian counterparts. 

Makarska (Photo: Maria Butyrina)

The aim of the survey, which is titled ‘The coast of giants: an anthropometric survey of high schoolers on the Adriatic coast of Croatia’, was to map regional differences in height and body proportions in eight counties adjacent to the Adriatic coast of Croatia. 

“These results show that young men from Dalmatia are currently the tallest in the world in the age category of 18 years, and the north-to-south gradient of increasing stature on the Adriatic coast largely mirrors that in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The extraordinary values of height in Croatia and BiH can most likely be explained by unique genetic predispositions that are shared by the local populations of the Dinaric Alps,” the report said. 


“The research has revealed some interesting facts for us. One is that we are currently among the tallest peoples in the world and that we have the potential for further growth, which is not possible in the majority of European countries. Our advantage is the genetic potential that has not yet been achieved,” Stipan Prce, who took part in the research, told Slobodna Dalmacija

An interesting fact also is that young military recruits in Dalmatia in 1883 had an average height of 171 cm, which shows how much taller youth are today in the region. Children are also significantly taller in all the counties on the coast today. The shortest schoolchildren are in continental Croatia in Hrvatsko Zagorje.

The research was led by the Faculty of Sports Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Metković Gimnazija, Faculty of Sports in Nikšić and the Bar School of Economics. The authors of the survey were Pavel Grasgruber, Stipan Prce, Nikola Stračárová, Eduard Hrazdíra, Jan Cacek, Stevo Popović, Sylva Hřebíčková, Predrag Potpara, Ivan Davidovič and Tomáš Kalina.

More about the survey can be found here

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