Accordingly Indians are taller than they were a century ago, but the generational growth in height may be tapering off in the country far earlier than in other south-east Asian countries. Between the two most recent rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the NFHS-IV in 2015-16 and the NFHS-III in 2005-06, Indian men on average were 1cm shorter, while Indian women remained roughly the same height.
The biggest fall in male height came in Karnataka, followed by Jharkhand and Haryana. In aggregate terms, the decline in height falls within sampling errors, but at the least, there is no evidence of an increase in height. In the previous decade (1995-96 to 2005-06), average male height grew 0.5cm but six states saw a fall in their average height, according to NFHS data analyzed by demographer Abhishek Singh and others.
In both the earlier decade and the latest decade, the greatest increments in female height were in Kerala. The biggest improvement in male height in the late 90s and early 2000s was in Kerala, while in the most recent decade, it was in Himachal Pradesh.
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