The world’s shortest people live on the 11,883-square-mile Southeast Asian island of Timor-Leste.
The average Timorese man is just five feet 2.9 inches tall, while the average woman is four feet 11.5 inches.
Several other countries in Southeast Asia are also on the list, including Laos and the Philippines, which experts believe is because their ancestors adapted the smaller stature to withstand the overwhelming heat.
The United States did not rank among the 25 nations with the shortest people: The average man is five feet nine inches, while women are around five feet four inches.
The UK also didn’t make the top 25: men are an average of just five feet six inches, while women are five feet five inches.
The data reveals the top 25 nations that are home to the shortest people. The data, which shows the average height of men and women combined for each nation, includes 25 nations. The United States and the United Kingdom are not on the list.
The world’s shortest people live on the 11,883-square-mile Southeast Asian island of Timor-Leste. The average Timorese man is five feet 2.9 inches tall, while the average woman is four feet 11.5 inches.
The data was compiled by Well-informed person, which drew information from the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a medical database linked to Imperial College London. Separate the average heights of men and women for each country. Insider then took an average of those two figures for each of the countries.
Scientists estimate that about 80 percent of an individual’s height is determined by their inherited DNA sequence variations.
In 2010, a team at Harvard Medical School identified hundreds of mutations that account for about 10 percent of the inherited height difference between people.
They found hundreds of variants associated with height in at least 180 different points in the human genome.
These mutations consistently cluster around genes from at least six different biological pathways, many close to those already known to be involved in skeletal growth syndromes.
Others involve previously unrecognized genetic growth regulators, opening up new possibilities for biological studies of altitude.
And the 2010 study explains why those living in Timor-Leste are the shortest in the world.
Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a small island divided into two parts, shared by the Indonesian capital, Kupang.
At the same time, the Portuguese occupied the eastern part of this island, but the southeastern region is home to the shortest people in the world.
In 1896, the height of the indigenous people did not exceed one and a half meters.
However, settlers from Portugal and Indonesia moved in during the 20th century, causing a change in the appearance of the natives.
But by the 1970s, Timorese had grown to five feet three inches, on average, but then saw a decline to five feet or less due to the civil war that affected their evolution.
This is because people were no longer moving around the island and mating with different ethnicities.
Interestingly, the second shortest group of people also lives in Southeast Asia – Laos.
This country is known for its rolling hills, Buddhist temples and impressive monuments.
The average man in Laos is five feet 3.19 inches tall, and the average woman is four feet 11.55 inches.
And the Philippines, also a Southeast Asian country, made the list, ranking fifth.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, is the highest country in the world. Men, on average, are 5 feet 11.86 inches and women are 5 feet 6.42 inches.
Researchers have suggested that the country’s leading healthcare system and low income inequality could play a role in the huge population.