When you’re trying to determine a healthy weight for yourself, it may be helpful to know what the average woman weighs. However, just because a figure is an average, does not necessarily mean that it’s a good target weight for you.
In fact, as adults in the United States are trending toward being overweight and obese, it would be better to use other factors, such as body mass index (BMI), to give you a more accurate goal.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average weight for an adult woman (20 years old and older) in the United States is 168.5 pounds. This statistic is from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 2011-2014. It is up from 162.9 pounds noted in the previous survey (2007–2010).
The study also says that the average height for adult women is about 64 inches, or 5 foot 4 inches. The average waist circumference is 38 inches and the average body mass index (BMI) is 29.2, which is considered overweight.
The BMI is a better gauge of most women’s healthy weight range, though it’s not perfect.
It takes into account your height as well as your weight and is measured on a scale that includes underweight, normal weight, and overweight categories. A simple BMI calculator will help you find out where you are and can be used periodically to track any weight loss goals you may have.
When both men and women are factored into the equation, the adult population of North America has a higher average body mass than the rest of the world. One study notes that 73.9% of people in North America are considered overweight, compared to 34.7% of the world population.
|Region||Average Adult Weight|
|Latin America/Caribbean||149 pounds|
|North America||177 pounds|
Weight Over Time
How has the average weight of an adult woman changed over the years? Measurements of BMI, weight, height, and even head circumference have been taken since the 1960s. Not surprisingly, women in the United States have been getting bigger, both taller and weighing more.
In the early 1960s, one research report stated that “American men range in average weight from 146 pounds at 62 inches in height to 190 pounds at 73 inches; while for American women this average progresses from 129 pounds at 58 inches to 157 pounds at 67 inches.”
Average Weight for Girls
The average weight for a girl depends on her age. According to the NHANES survey, the average weight for girls in the U.S. is:
|1 year||24.6 pounds|
|2 years||29.3 pounds|
|3 years||34.5 pounds|
|4 years||40.3 pounds|
|5 years||45.0 pounds|
|6 years||52.4 pounds|
|7 years||58.7 pounds|
|8 years||69.9 pounds|
|9 years||82.7 pounds|
|10 years||90.9 pounds|
|11 years||104.5 pounds|
|12 years||122.9 pounds|
|13 years||122.4 pounds|
|14 years||131.4 pounds|
|15 years||141.7 pounds|
|16 years||143.3 pounds|
|17 years||148.5 pounds|
|18 years||148.2 pounds|
|19 years||150.9 pounds|
Just as with adults, the average does not necessarily correlate with a healthy weight for girls. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five children is obese, which is evident in these national averages.
A more accurate gauge for your child’s weight and height is to use a kids growth chart. Comparing a child to the 50th percentile will give you a better idea of how her growth compares to the expected growth rate for girls her age.
A Word From Verywell
The average weight for women in any particular country can tell a lot about trends, but it should not be used as a gauge for your own weight. Individual factors will play a role in your personal ideal target weight and it’s best to consult your physician, trainer, or nutritionist if you have any questions.
editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Stanford FC, Tauqeer Z, Kyle TK. Media and Its Influence on Obesity. Curr Obes Rep. 2018;7(2):186-192. doi:10.1007/s13679-018-0304-0
Fryar CD. Gu Q, Ogden CL, Flegal KM. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2011–2014. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics. Series 3, Number 39. 2016
Gutin I. In BMI We Trust: Reframing the Body Mass Index as a Measure of Health. Soc Theory Health. 2018;16(3):256-271. doi:10.1057/s41285-017-0055-0
Walpole SC, Prieto-Merino D, Edwards P, Cleland J, Stevens G, Roberts I. The Weight of Nations: An Estimation of Adult Human Biomass. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:439. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-439
Roberts J. Weight by Height and Age of Adults: United States, 1960–1962. Vital Health Statistics. Public Health Service Publication No. 1000~S. Series 11, Number 14. Washington, DC: National Center for Health Statistics US Public Health Service; 1966.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood Obesity Facts. Updated June 24, 2019.
Kar P. Partha Kar: Dieting and body shaming. BMJ. 2019;364:l1222. doi:10.1136/bmj.l1222
Ravary A, Baldwin MW, Bartz JA. Shaping the Body Politic: Mass Media Fat-Shaming Affects Implicit Anti-Fat Attitudes. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2019;45(11):1580-1589. doi:10.1177/0146167219838550