The estimates of the average weight and height for females depend on age. But if you live a balanced lifestyle, you can be healthy regardless of how your measurements compare with the average.

The average American female over 20 years of age weighs 170.8 pounds (lb) and stands at 63.5 inches (in), which is almost 5 feet (ft) 4 in.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 31.9% of adults in the United States have obesity.

As of 2018, the average weights for women in different age groups were:

Age group (y)Average weight (lb)
20–39167.6
40–59176.4
60+166.5

### Language matters

You’ll notice that the language used to share stats and other data points is pretty binary, fluctuating between the use of “women” and “female.”

Although we typically avoid language like this, specificity is key when reporting on research participants and clinical findings.

Unfortunately, the studies and surveys referenced in this article didn’t report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.

## How do Americans compare with the rest of the world?

According to 2022 research, about 42.8% of the United States population has obesity.

A 2023 review of global research on the prevalence of obesity from 1990 to 2022 ranked the United States as the country with the 36th highest obesity ranking worldwide.

The countries with the highest prevalence of obesity in 2022 included:

• Tonga
• American Samoa
• Samoa

The countries with the lowest prevalence of obesity in 2022 included:

• Vietnam
• Timor-Leste
• Japan

## How are weight ranges determined?

Your height, sex, and fat and muscle composition all factor into what doctors consider a moderate weight. Various tools can help you figure out your number. Body mass index (BMI), one of the most popular tools, uses a formula that involves your height and weight.

To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, and then multiply that result by 703. You can also plug this information into an online calculator.

Once you know your BMI, you can determine into which category it falls:

• Underweight: under 18.5
• Moderate weight: 18.5–24.9
• Overweight: 25.0–29.9
• Obesity: above 30.0

High BMI is typically associated with increased risk of mortality, cardiometabolic disease, and certain cancers.

Although this method offers a good starting point, your BMI may not always be the most accurate measure of your best weight. In some instances, factors such as frame size, muscle composition, and age can render BMI results inaccurate.

The results for certain groups may be more likely to be inaccurate. These can include:

• athletes, who may weigh more due to high muscle mass and get a result of overweight
• older adults, who tend to store more fat than younger adults
• people in specific ethnic groups for whom experts suggest using a modified BMI to evaluate risk

BMI for children and teens is given as a percentile. Teenage heights and weights are constantly changing, so it’s most useful to compare their BMIs to the BMIs of other children of the same age and sex.

## What’s the relationship between weight and height?

Even with its limitations, your BMI can be a good starting point for assessing your overall health. You can use this chart to find your ideal weight by height.

Height (ft and in)Weight for moderate BMI (lb)
4’10”91–119
4’11”94–123.5
5’97–127.5
5’1”100–132
5’2”104–136
5’3”107–140.5
5’4”110–145
5’5”114–149.5
5’6”118–154
5’7”121–159
5’8”125–164
5’9”128–168.5
5’10”132–173.5
5’11”136–178.5
6’140–183.5
6’1”144–189
6’2”148–194
6’3”152–199

## What are some ways to determine your body composition?

For the most accurate measure of whether you’re at a moderate weight, you may consider visiting a doctor for specialized tests, such as:

### Waist-to-hip ratio

To calculate your waist-to-hip ratio, you’ll want to first take your measurements at your waist and then at the widest part of your lower body.

A CDC analysis determined that a waist-to-hip ratio of more than 0.71 may put females at risk of health conditions related to visceral fat, or belly fat, including:

The waist-to-hip ratio may not be the most accurate metric for some subsets of people, including children and people with a BMI of more than 35.

## How can you manage your weight?

Keeping your weight within the moderate range can be hard work, but it often has benefits. Reaching and maintaining a moderate weight can reduce the risk of several medical conditions including:

Consider taking the advice below if you need to reduce your body weight to reach a moderate weight. These key steps can help you get there.

Trying to lose or maintain a moderate weight doesn’t necessarily mean eating less. Rethinking the composition of your plate may help aid weight loss without dramatically reducing portion sizes. Prioritizing lean proteins and vegetables can reduce a meal’s calorie content while keeping you feeling full.

For example:

### Try waiting a while

It’s natural to occasionally finish a meal and still feel hungry. It can take time for the body to process the food you eat and for you to feel full.

If you’re still hungry after you’ve completed your whole meal, you may want to wait before eating again.

### Eat regularly

Eat breakfast and avoid skipping meals. Your body needs consistent nutrition throughout the day to run at its best. Without proper fuel, you won’t feel well, and your body won’t work efficiently.

### Eat more fiber

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends females take in 25 grams of fiber each day. If you’re having trouble in this area, try to add foods such as whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, rice, and beans to your diet. The idea here is that fiber fills you up quickly and ultimately curbs your appetite.

### Get moving

The current recommendations for weekly exercise are 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, such as walking or yoga, or 75 minutes a week of more vigorous activity, such as running or cycling.

### Drink more water

Staying hydrated helps keep your digestive tract moving. Females may want to drink at least 11.5 cups of fluids each day. Experts recommend aiming for low or no-calorie beverages without sweeteners, such as:

## Summary

Weight alone doesn’t tell how healthy you are. Eating well, exercising, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep are all important, regardless of size.

If you do want to reduce your weight, start by setting a realistic goal with a doctor or by figuring out the appropriate BMI or weight for your frame. From there, create a plan with the help of a doctor or dietitian and set goals that you can work toward.