WHY ARE THE DUTCH getting taller? “Today, the Dutch are on average the tallest people on the planet. Just 150 years ago, they were relatively short. In 1860, the average Dutch soldier in the Netherlands was just 5 feet 5 inches. American men were 2.7 inches taller. Since 1860, average heights have increased in many parts of the world, but no people have shot up like the Dutch.”