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  2. Puberty
  3. Body changes

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When Do Girls Stop Growing? The Surprising Statistics

When do girls stop growing taller? How tall will I be when I grow up? Am I the right height for my age? These are all common questions to have during puberty. The most important thing to remember is there is no one right height. Whether you’re tall, short, or somewhere in between, you’re completely fine.

When do girls stop growing? 

The short answer is that, on average, people keep getting taller until puberty stops, around 15 or 16 years old. By the time someone has reached their adult height, the rest of their body will be done maturing too. By age 16, the body will usually have reached its full adult form — height included. 

What affects someone’s height?

It’s impossible to predict how tall someone will be as an adult. From nutrition to genetics, there are just too many variables to determine a precise number. But the biggest factor is genetics, and paying attention to that helps figure out how tall someone will be as an adult.

Genetics 

Parents pass on their freckles, their smiles, and their hair to their kids. They pass on their height too. Tall parents tend to make tall kids; short parents tend to make short kids. This is not a universal rule, though. Plenty of tall people have parents who are shorter than average. 

Average height by age 

People’s growth rate changes drastically from year to year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a growth chart for girls that lets you check the average height of children and teenagers at different ages throughout adolescence. 

The female growth rate kicks off around ten years old. At ten, the average female height is around 54 inches. The average 13-year-old height is 62 inches. That’s an average of eight inches in three years! 

After 13, growth tends to slow down to about an inch every year. The average 14-year-old height is 63 inches. A year after that, it’s 64 inches — the average height for 15-year-old girls. 

Check out the growth chart from the CDC to see the average height at different ages throughout adolescence. And remember, it’s just an average. It’s very common to have a height that’s different from the average.

Are male and female growth rates different?

At the beginning of puberty, the female average height by age is higher. 

This is because female puberty usually starts earlier, usually around age ten. Male puberty usually doesn’t start until 12 or 13.

Once puberty kicks in, the male growth rate starts to increase. The average male adult height is 70 inches, compared to an average female adult height of 64 inches. Most people reach their adult height by 16.

Reasons for growth delays 

Though genetics is the biggest factor in determining someone’s height, there are plenty of others. Here’s a list of factors that could cause a slower growth rate. 

  • Genetic conditions 

Many genetic conditions can affect adult height. For instance, people with Down syndrome or Turner syndrome tend to be shorter than average. 

  • Nutrition 

Eating a healthy diet full of nutrients speeds up the rate of growth, and a lack of nutrients slows it down. Focusing on a balanced diet during puberty can help make sure growth isn’t stunted. 

  • Hormone imbalances 

Human growth hormone and thyroid hormone control growth during puberty. Some people naturally have less of these hormones, and they will be shorter than average. 

  • Long-term illness 

Illnesses like cancer, celiac disease, various kidney diseases, and cystic fibrosis slow down the rate of growth. People with one of these conditions may end up shorter than average. 

  • Medication

Regular use of some medications prescribed for severe bronchial asthma and some autoimmune diseases can also slow growth. These medications include corticosteroids such as prednisone and hydrocortisone. 

This is just a snapshot of what growing taller might look like. There is no specific height anyone is supposed to be at any given age, and it’s very common for the growing experience to be very different for different people. We hope this gave you an idea of what getting taller might look like and the understanding that it can be different for everyone. 

2 To 20 Years: Girls Stature Weight-for-Age Percentiles . National Center for Health Statistics in Collaboration with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/data/set2clinical/cj41c072.pdf.

Fryar, Cheryl D., et al. Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999–2000 Through 2015–2016. National Health Statistics Reports, 20 Dec. 2018, www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr122-508.pdf.

“Growth and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Mary L. Gavin, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, June 2019, kidshealth.org/en/parents/growth-13-to-18.html.

“Predicting a Child's Adult Height.” HealthyChildren.org, 21 Jan. 2016, www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/Glands-Growth-Disorders/Pages/Predicting-a-Childs-Adult-Height.aspx.

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