They are still the tallest people in the world, but their decades-long growth has stopped: the Dutch are shrinking, according to a study by the statistics agency published on Friday.

On average, the 19-year-old men are 182.9 centimeters tall and thus one centimeter shorter than the men born in 1980.

At 169.3 centimeters, women are even 1.4 centimeters shorter than the older generation.

But: "The Netherlands are still the largest nation in the world," the statistics agency gives the all-clear.

The largest men live in the Netherlands, followed by Montenegro, Estonia and Bosnia.

According to a survey by the health network Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration from 2020, Dutch women are also at the top, ahead of Montenegro, Denmark and Iceland.

The authors of the study suspect that the “shrinkage” is due to the immigration of, on average, smaller people with a “non-Western background” and an unhealthy diet.

The Dutch weren't always that big. At the beginning of the 19th century they were actually quite small compared to other European countries, and only began to skyrocket in the 1840s. How they did this is unclear. The popular myth that the growth of the Dutch is due to their high consumption of dairy products is unsustainable, according to scientists.

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