|Short and Round|
13/08/2012 01:26 (284 Day 16:49 minutes ago)
The FINANCIAL -- There is a stereotypical Georgian character: the proud-bellied vodka-drinking man who can eat 20 khinkali in one sitting.
There seems to be at least some truth to this image when it’s paired with data from one of GORBI’s recent polls. Of the 8 regional countries surveyed, Georgian men are the heaviest by far. This cannot be attributed to a large frame, either; Georgians as a people were far shorter than any of their peers.
This poll, conducted by Georgian Opinion Research Business International, collected data on a variety of health related topics, and it included two simple questions of height and weight. The mean height in Georgia is 148 centimeters, well below the average of 161. Azerbaijan came in at second shortest with a mean of 155, and Belarus “topped the charts,” so to speak, with 167 average centimeters.
Belarus seems to have claim as the largest population overall; the tallest men are also the second heaviest, and Belarusian women are both the tallest and heaviest of all those polled. While Georgian women weigh a little below the female average of 64.2 kilograms (with a mean of 62.8 kg), the men far exceeded the male average of 73.6 by a whopping 5.4 kilos.
The Women -- In previous articles, we’ve discussed how subsets of a population can skew the total results. This is true in this case as well. The median height in Georgia is not actually the lowest of all 8 countries. In fact, it perfectly matches the total median of 168 centimeters. Part of the reason that the Georgian mean height is so low is that the elderly women in Georgia are much shorter than any other group.
Georgian women over 65 years old are the single shortest demographic discussed in this article; they have an average height of 110 cm. The large number of very short women should also suggest to you that the male population is, for the most part, not as short as the national average would suggest. This is correct, but Georgian men are still tied with Armenians for the shortest males; the average Georgian (and Armenian) man is 164 cm.
Georgia’s bebias (elderly women) are also far lighter than the average grandma or babushka, but still heavier than young women. While the women do bring the average height in Georgia down to a somewhat misleading number, even these very light ladies cannot bring Georgia’s average weight down.
Whenever discussing means, it’s important to note the standard deviation. This number tells you how close the whole population is to the mean. In Georgia, for instance, the standard deviation for weight was among the highest of those countries polled (22.7 kg). With this number, and by assuming a relatively normal distribution, we can say that 7 in 10 Georgian men are between 56 and 102 kg, The runner-up in the heavy-weight competition, Belarus, has the same fraction of their male population between 60 and 95 kilos.
This is quite a large range; it suggests that there are more not-so-overweight Georgians as the mean suggests. However, it also means that there are a fairly large number of much-more-overweight Georgians.
The distribution of height is fairly wide as well. The standard deviation for Georgian height is another large number: 60 for women and 44 for men. So while it is true that Georgians seem to be short and heavy, and the men in particular, they are also the most diverse in terms of size.
This survey was conducted by Georgian Opinion Research Business International and partners, and consisted of 8 nationwide polls totaling 16200 respondents. The error margins for studies of this kind are +- 3.5% at a 95% confidence interval.