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I am trying to get a dataset (preferable worldwide) that has the attributes (height, weight and age). The only decent dataset that I have been able to find was from here: https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/20265/human-body-organs-growth-graph-or-data which just gives you the percentiles for a certain age.

Ideally I would love to get a dataset that allows you to differentiate this by sex, ethnic background etc. If a open dataset exists it would be good to hear of it.

  • 1
    Are you looking for individual measurements or aggregated data (e.g. averages by country/region)? After poking around a little bit, I was a little surprised at how hard it is to find data on height and weight, even at the aggregated level. Lots of organizations (WHO, USAID, World Bank etc.) will provide average BMIs by country, but no averages of the heights and weights that went into calculating those BMIs. – nathansnider May 16 '16 at 23:29
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    I was hoping to get anonymised individual data. But like you said even aggregate data is hard to find. I did find something on percentiles at WHO site (can't remember where exactly). – sachinruk May 16 '16 at 23:52
9

Try the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). They have what you are looking for, for a large set of countries. On top of that you will in part be able to identify family ties, and you can even get access to geo-coded data. The data has answers to an extensive questionnaire.

You have to "apply" to get the data. But that is just a formality -- even as a undergraduate student with just a one-sentence research proposal you are likely to get access within a few hours.

Edit: The surveys consist of several modules, some modules are only administeed to female respondents, some only to children and so on. Sometimes different waves in different coutnries contain a different combination of modules. Depending on what exactly you're studying you'll need to figure out what exactly your needs are. To show you that the data exists I pick on example: Egyptian women in the 2014-wave. You'll find the data here:

Egypt: Standard DHS, 2014 > Household Member Recode > Variables: ha*

Here, you see a hight/weight scatter (scatter ha2 ha3 in stata): enter image description here

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    There seems to be a lot of data sources in there and I couldn't find the one relating to the question. Could you out a link to it so I can I accept your answer? – sachinruk May 22 '16 at 23:54
8

Okay, this is a very specific dataset for the !Kung San people, but it has height, weight, sex, and age fields. Reference was found in McElreath:

"The data contained in data (Howell1) are partial census data for the Dobe area !Kung San, compiled from interviews conducted by Nancy Howell in the late 1960s."

McElreath's github repository houses Howell1 and Howell2.

head of sample data

6

Here is a set of individual weights and heights for 25,000 children in Hong Kong. There is no age or gender information, though, which does limit its usefulness.

From the same site, there is a table of heights, weights and ages for 1035 baseball players, which is a highly unrepresentative sample of the general population, but possibly interesting?

There are also some open anthropometric databases that include height, weight, age and lots of other measurements, mostly relevant to ergonomics. This page has data from a few US sources.

5

For the United States, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) contains this information on over 400,000 adults every year. According to the website, the BRFSS is a cross-sectional telephone survey, conducted monthly using a standardized questionnaire. It includes:

prevalence data among adult U.S. residents regarding their risk behaviors and preventive health practices that can affect their health status.

As the codebook illustrates, it has:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Income
  • Race / Ethnicity
  • And several other variables relating to health, demographics, and other related issues.

Example data dictionary details:

data dictionary details

  • Did you manage to load this data into python or in a regular tabular format like csv? – thebeancounter Nov 17 at 10:25
2

NCDRisC

There is an amazing academic project NCDRisC that deals with this kind of data. Check out the aggregated data sets that they distribute for free.

enter image description here

Also pay attention to the high quality papers that they published in top-ranked journals.

Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 2416 population-based measurement studies in 128.9 million children, adolescents, and adults. Lancet 2017, published online 11 October 2017

Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980: a pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4.4 million participants. Lancet 2016, 387:1513-1530

A century of trends in adult human height. eLife 2016, 5:e13410

Worldwide trends in blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: a pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19.1 million participants. Lancet 2017, 389:37-55


European Soccer Database

Also, there is an amazing collection of soccer data published openly at Kaggle -- European Soccer Database.
Make sure you check the diverse examples of analysis of this dataset -- the so called kernels.

From the data source description:

What you get:

  • +25,000 matches
  • +10,000 players 11 European Countries with their lead championship
  • Seasons 2008 to 2016
  • Players and Teams' attributes* sourced from EA Sports' FIFA video game series, including the weekly updates
  • Team lineup with squad formation (X, Y coordinates)
  • Betting odds from up to 10 providers
  • Detailed match events (goal types, possession, corner, cross, fouls, cards etc...) for +10,000 matches

IIHF ice-hockey players height

This is a small dataset that I gathered manually -- Ice hockey players at IIHF world championships, 2001-2016.

https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3394735.v2

The dataset contains 6292 records of 3333 players' height and weight parameters at 16 world championships.

There is also a blog post with some analysis of this dataset
https://ikashnitsky.github.io/2017/ice-hockey-players-height/

This post is also available in Russian.

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