The ideal height: 5’6” for a woman, 5’11” for a man

William JordanUS Elections Editor
July 11, 2014, 9:00 AM GMT+0

Men tend to want a woman no taller than 6 feet, while women want a man no shorter than 5 feet 4 inches

New YouGov research into the subject of height finds that men and women both tend to think it's ideal to be slightly above average – but people are fairly open-minded.

On average, women say a romantic partner 5’3” or shorter is generally too short for comfort, while a partner 6’3” or taller is too tall, and the “ideal” height for a man is 5’11”. The survey also finds that for the average British man, a partner becomes too short at 4’11” and too tall at 6’. The ideal height for a woman, according to the average man, is 5’6”.

Notably, this excludes 10% of men who say there is no such thing as too short and 9% who say no height is too tall. Similarly, there is no "too short" for 4% of women and no "too tall" for 7%.

The survey also illuminates just what it is to be an “average” man or woman when it comes to height. The average self-reported height for a woman is 5’4” and for a man it is 5’10” (respondents were asked to round to the nearest inch), meaning both genders tend to fall just short of their opposites' preference.

The meaning of average

However, the vast majority fall within the "comfortable" Goldilocks range. Fully 94% of men are between 5’4” and 6’3, while 95% of women are between 5’ and 5’11”.

It's also worth remembering that even these ranges are based on averages – overall, there are variations in preferences, such as according to the respondent's own height.

Women between 5’ and 5’7” think 5’11” is ideal, but women above that height prefer a man to be 6’1”. Conversely, 47% of men between 6’ and 6’3” say the ideal woman is between 5’8 and 5’11”, compared to just 26% of men who are between 5’8” and 5’11” and want a woman in the same range.

YouGov also asked respondents what height they would personally like to be, ideally. Women tend to want to be two inches taller than the average, while men tend to want to be one inch taller. In most cases – with the exception of men under 5’8” and women under 5’4” – the majority of people in a given 4-inch height range picked a height within their own range as a personal “ideal”.

Image: Getty

Update: The first graphic has been edited for clarity

See the full poll results