Size matters: Swedes grow taller and wider

Swedes are getting taller and heavier, according to new research. Today’s Swedish women are two centimetres taller and three kilos heavier than women thirty years ago.

The findings are part of a survey of the size of the Swedish population being carried out by IFP Research. The survey is intended to help companies adapt their products to suit the average Swede. Car manufacturers and clothing retailers are among those expected to benefit from the results.

IFP Research is measuring 4,000 Swedes, and although the project is not yet finished, some patterns have started to emerge.

“We have become taller and heavier compared with when we first carried out this survey [in the 1970s]” said IFP’s Håkan Damberg to news agency TT.

A spokesman for carmaker Volvo said that it was important to know the average size of the population so that car seats could be made comfortable.

Exact figures for men have not yet been revealed, but figures from the Swedish National Service Administration, which every year takes detailed measurements of each potential Swedish conscript, show that men are also getting taller and heavier.

In 1975, the average potential conscript was 178.6 centimetres tall and weighed 68.3 kilos. Last year the average height was up 1.6 centimetres to 180.2 cm, and the average weight was up 6.4 kilos to 74.7.