This variable contains anthropometric information which can be used as a proxy for the inequality of human health and welfare in 119 countries spanning the period 1810-1989, although for most countries only a few birth decades are documented. The data set was created to provide a first attempt to measure inequality, it should be mentioned as a caveat that many individual countries cannot be measured without a substantial amount of measurement error. The tendencies of anthropometric inequality by world region (in which country-specific measurement error tends to average out) is probably informative


Baten, Joerg, University of Tuebingen.; Blum, Mathias, Technical University Munich (formerly University of Tuebingen)

Production date



Gini coefficient of male height equivalent in cm


Height, Anthropometrics, Living Standard

Time period

1810 -1980. All data refer to the birth decadal average (1810 means 1810-19 etc)

Geographical coverage


Methodologies used for data collection and processing

Reconstruction of height ginis by birth decade using a variety of different sources. See also the text below. The height gini is a transformation of the coefficient of height inequality, based on Moradi and Baten’s formula: g htgini=-33.5 + 20.5*cv

Period of collection

See references

Data collectors

Joerg Baten, Mathias Blum, and many colleagues from around the world

As good as possible, but counter-checking and improvement welcome. Interpretations on individual country level should be done with careful checking

General references

As almost none of the original height variation estimates entered the

data set unchanged, the general reference which should be cited is

Jörg Baten and Matthias Blum, “Anthropometric within-country

Inequality and the Estimation of Skill Premia with Anthropometric

Indicators”, Review of Economics -- Jahrbuch fuer

Wirtschaftswissenschaften 62-2 (2011), pp.107-138.

But as the underlying height data comes from a variety of sources, here

is the complete list:

(we first reported authors and year; then author with first name;

finally title)

Apart from those individual titles, are results are based on the

literature referenced in overview studies such as Floud (1994); Hiernaux

(1968); and recently Schnaitmann (2007). The Hiernaux (1968)

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Anguilla[No Data]

Antigua and Barbuda1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Aruba[No Data]

Bahamas1500 (5)-2013 (23)

Barbados1500 (5)-2016 (28)

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba[No Data]

British Virgin Islands[No Data]

Cayman Islands[No Data]

Cuba1500 (8)-2016 (35)

Curaçao[No Data]

Dominica1500 (5)-2016 (21)

Dominican Republic1500 (6)-2018 (38)

Grenada1500 (5)-2013 (21)

Guadeloupe[No Data]

Haiti1500 (6)-2018 (36)

Jamaica1500 (6)-2018 (35)

Martinique[No Data]

Montserrat[No Data]

In 2010, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded a subsidy to the Clio Infra project, of which Jan Luiten van Zanden was the main applicant and which is hosted by the International Institute of Social History (IISH). Clio Infra has set up a number of interconnected databases containing worldwide data on social, economic, and institutional indicators for the past five centuries, with special attention to the past 200 years. These indicators allow research into long-term development of worldwide economic growth and inequality.

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