The shortest people in the world live on the 11,883-square-mile Southeast Asian island of Timor-Leste.
The average Timorese man is just five feet 2.9 inches tall, while the average woman stands four feet 11.5 inches.
Several other countries in Southeast Asia also made the list, including Laos and the Philippines, which experts believe is because their ancestors adapted the smaller stature to withstand the overwhelming heat.
The US did not make rank among the 25 nations with the shortest people – the average man is five feet nine inches, while women are about five feet four inches.
The UK also didn’t crack the top 25 – men there measure an average of just five feet six inches, while women are five feet five inches tall.
Data reveals the top 25 nations home to the shortest people. The data, which shows the average height of men and women combined for each nation, includes 25 nations. The US and UK did not make the list
The world’s shortest people live on the 11,883-square-mile Southeast Asian island of Timor-Leste. The average Timorese man is five feet 2.9 inches tall, while the average woman stands four feet 11.5 inches
The data was compiled by Insider, which pulled information from NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, a medical database linked to Imperial College London. It separates the average heights of men and women for each country. Insider then took an average of those two figures for each of the countries.
Scientists estimate that about 80 percent of an individual’s height is determined by their inherited DNA sequence variations.
In 2010, a team with Harvard Medical School identified hundreds of mutations that account for about 10 percent of the inherited difference in height among people.
They found hundreds of variants associated with height in at least 180 different spots in the human genome.
These mutations cluster consistently around genes from at least six different biological pathways – many near those already known to be involved in skeletal growth syndromes.
Others implicate previously unrecognized genetic growth regulators – opening up new possibilities for biological studies of height.
And the 2010 study explains why those living in Timor-Leste are the shortest in the world.
Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a small island separated into two parts, shared by Indonesia’s capital Kupang.
At the same time, the Portuguese occupied the eastern part of this island, but the southeast region is home to the shortest people in the world.
In 1896, the height of natives did not surpass five feet.
However, settlers from Portugal and Indonesia moved in during the 20th century, which led to a change in the appearance of the natives.
But in the 1970s, Timorese had grown to five feet three inches, on average, but then saw a decline to five feet or less due to civil war that impacted their evolution.
This is because people no longer moved around the island and mated with different ethnicities.
Interestingly enough, the second group of shortest people also live in Southeast Asia – Laos.
This country is known for its rolling hills, Buddhist temples and stunning landmarks.
The average man in Laos is five feet 3.19 inches tall, and the average woman stands four feet 11.55 inches.
And the Philippines, also a country in Southeast Asia, made the list, sitting in fifth.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, is the tallest country in the world. Men, on average, measure 5 feet 11.86 inches, and women are 5 feet 6.42 inches tall.
Researchers have suggested that the country’s leading healthcare system and low amount of income inequality could factor into the towering population.