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What are some notable physical characteristics of Dutch people?

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Quick Answer

One of the most notable physical characteristics of Dutch people is their height. On average, people from the Netherlands stand taller than people from other countries.

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The average height for a Dutch man is 6 feet tall. The average height for a Dutch woman is 5 feet, 6 inches.

The Dutch were not always the world's tallest nationality. In the 19th century, the average Dutch man was shorter than the average American man. This gain in height has perplexed scientists. Although improved nutrition and better access to medical care are commonly cited explanations, the Netherlands is not different in terms of health care and nutrition than other European countries, which have not seen similar gains in height.

The reason could possibly be natural selection, according to an article published in "The Royal Society Journal Proceedings B." A survey of records covering a time period between 1935 and 1967 and over 90,000 people born in the Netherlands to Dutch parents found that on average, tall Dutch men had more children than shorter men. Taller women also had more children than their shorter counterparts. Because height is a trait that is easily passed down from parents to offspring, this trend could lead to a rise in average height.

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