Science and research review on penis size measurement
What is an average penis size?
Practically speaking the penis has two uses: urination and sexual activity. For the purpose of urination, penis size is irrelevant. Men’s concern is related to how their penises compare to other men in sexual terms and how likely they are to satisfy their partner. Status and attractiveness, self-esteem, and self-consciousness are also connected to the size of the penis, not only in erect form but also in flaccid form. Research shows that contrary to the widespread belief, women do not care as much as men about penis size. Let’s review the available research and see what the average penis size is globally and whether there is a difference in penis size between different ethnicities and people of different ages?
Please read how penis size is relevant to sex:
In 2023 there are a lot of misinformed men and women with a distorted perception of penis sizes for several reasons.
- Poor quality research is picked up by the media which presents findings as fact.
- Above-average size male appendages seen in porn are often misconstrued as normal.
- Spam emails, ads, pieces of culture, and comments on social media are impressing the opinion that the average penis size is larger than it is.
- Myths are perpetuated by those who claim enormous sizes of their sexual partners.
Despite these myths and misconceptions, there is one simple truth, mathematical and logical fact about penis sizes:
Penis sizes and smartphone sizes
There is another truth about our perception is that we lack the perception to judge sizes accurately.
Most people today have smartphones that come in all shapes and sizes, much like penises. If you think about the different sizes and shapes of smartphones you’ve had or your friends have, can you tell the difference when looking at them whether they are larger or smaller than yours if the difference is tiny, much like penis sizes difference? So another thing to consider is this:
If I asked you now to use a pen to draw a line that measures 5.6 inches without using rulers, how accurate would that line be? Go ahead and try it. Now, without looking at your phone try to draw a line that is the size of your phone and see how difficult it is to approximate the size of something that you hold in your hand every day.
If you try to recall the size of the smartphone you previously had, you’ll find that it is difficult to recall what size that was either, unless you see them side by side. Likewise, with penis sizes, it is difficult to estimate, and therefore whatever comments we may hear from our sexual partners about their previous partners could be ignored.
However, you may want to explore the range of averages and differences between races and ages. Knowing your penis size may also give you confidence and can help you pick out the correct condom to fit your penis. Men may feel self-conscious about their penis size. This may be damaging to their self-esteem. Self-esteem problems lead to a loss of confidence and even diminished sexual appetite and performance. Therefore it is important to know how you compare to others in terms of both length, and girth (circumference). As mentioned above, chances are high that your penis size falls within the range of averages.
Consistency problem of penis size measurements
Measuring penis size properly and comparing it to others runs into problems of consistency. Most known studies disagree on what is the average penis size, so we try to find the average of the averages by comparing dozens of studies instead.
Even for a single male, measuring penis size provides inconsistent results as the strength of the erection changes considerably depending on many factors such as level of arousal, the surrounding temperature, presence of thoughts, and time of day. The size of a measured penis will change, even throughout the day. Many things interfere with the strength of the erection. You know that.
Penis measurements data
To learn what is the real average size we need to look at studies that collected data about penis sizes. Some scientific and commercial research looked into ranges, the standard deviation of penis sizes, both length, and circumference. The results below are relevant in 2023 and still represent the best scientific data on penis sizes among different peoples and races.
Below is a list of over 40 studies from 1899 to 2014, measuring average penis sizes of men, using different methods, different states (flaccid, stretched, erect) across different countries and of different ages, conducted by different researchers.
Dozens of studies into average penis size came up with varying results.
These studies were mostly conducted in the scientific fields of urology, and virology and there are also a few commercial studies from condom manufacturers, experiments in ED (erectile dysfunction treatments), and research into other medical/sexual problems.
A short answer would find the mean of the studies – the arithmetic averages.
The long answer would inspect the mean and the standard deviation of the best studies – to establish the averages and the spread of data, to see what is normal for the population of different ethnicities. These results are hard to come by but there are some good studies on the subject.
Very approximate average penis size:
Approximate average penis length:
13.85 cm = 5.45 inches*
Approximate average penis girth:
12.01 cm = 4.73 inches*
This appears accurate but is not accurate enough. For a thorough analysis scroll down for explanations and exact figures for different ethnicities accompanied by explanations.
*There are documented differences in averages between various ethnicities and ages.
Measuring penis size – different approaches
After analyzing dozens of studies mentioned above. Some (especially the early ones) are not very concise in terms of methodology and some others used questionable methodologies/ substandard measuring techniques and will not be used for our precise estimates.
Some studies were of questionable methodology and therefore provided inaccurate findings.
The findings across multiple studies have been prioritized in this order:
- Studies where the measuring was conducted by trained professionals, hospital, and clinic staff (including commercial studies such as the Ansell Condoms (Manufacturer of Lifestyles/Mates condoms).
- Studies where the measuring was conducted by self-report, motivated by condoms they were ordering that matched their sizes
- Self-report studies.
Unfortunately, people are unreliable in reporting their age, height, and weight in clinical research. Men are unreliable when reporting their penis measurements. This leads to dubious studies being published stating incorrect data. In all of the published research out there, men provide overly optimistic self-reported measurements. It is not known if it is through honest mistakes or deception, but self-report studies have very little empirical value.
How penis size should be measured?
In short, penis girth is measured in the middle of the shaft and the length is measured by pressing a ruler against the pelvic bone above the penis, at the base, and measured from the base to the tip of the glans (also known as the head). This correct way has been considered standard and therefore it was used to compute the averages and ranges to achieve consistency. Read our guide on how to measure penis sizes if you want clarification.
Ethnicity and average penis size
There appears to be a difference between the findings for different ethnicities, therefore it makes sense to narrow down the penis size averages by ethnicity. However, Chen, Li, Yang, and Dai conducted an excellent study in China, in Yunnan province (known for its ethnically diverse populace) in 2014. They discovered, in very thorough research that even among the non-diverse isolated ethnicities the averages of penis sizes varied.
If this is true for people in one country, in one province, of one race, and nationality, it is reasonable to suggest that there is a major variation of penis sizes for different ethnicities. However, since the world today is a melting pot and has been thus for the last few centuries, the averages should be flattening out. However, to have a general idea of what is normal/average penis sizes for different ethnicities, we can use the mathematical principles of the mean and standard deviation to assess the ranges of penis sizes for different ethnicities.
Average penis length by ethnicity
Average penis girth by ethnicity
Most accurate global average erect penis size: length and girth (width/circumference)
Most accurate global average penis length:
13.71 cm = 5.4 inches
Most accurate global average penis girth:
11.55 cm = 4.54 inches
The global average was calculated and approximated using the following ratio of the global population by race, there is limited data on countries in South-East Asia and South Asia which account for almost 30% of the global population.
White 15%; Hispanic 8%; Black 15%; Middle Eastern 8%; Asian 54%: East Asian 24% (Korea, Mongolia, China, Japan); South Asian 21% (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal); Southeast Asian 9% (Cambodia, Burma, Philippines, Malaysia)
Age and average penis size
Age and penile dimensions appear not to be correlated among adults. Until about the age of 50, when length remains the same but the girth or the width of the erect penis decreases.
Average penis girth of American Men aged 18-49 and over 50.
Age 18-49: 12.25 cm
Age 50+ : 11.95 cm
Age appears to have an effect on penile dimensions after the age of 50, as average penis girth (width/circumference) during erection lessens, whilst penis length remains the same.
After the age of 50 and sometimes before, men start to experience various sexual health-related issues, such as ED (erectile dysfunction ) – this problem is a symptom of worsening blood flow, which would incidentally affect the width of the erect penis. For these reasons, despite finding there is no significant difference between average penis lengths for men of different ages, there is a significant difference between the average penis girth of men under and over 50.
Average penis length and girth by ethnicity – charts, and comparisons
When it comes to ethnicity – penis sizes vary. They do not vary enough to say that for example “all black men have a larger penis than white men” because this isn’t true. However, when it comes to averages in length and girth there are statistical differences.
Look at the charts below for more information about penis size averages by ethnicity.
These averages are subject to change as new data becomes available and as old data is revised.
The data gathered from these multiple studies on penis sizes are insufficient to report anything conclusively
The subject of average penis length and girth (width/circumference) requires further study, a more precise methodology, and a larger sample, a cross-section of the population, across different ethnicities, different countries, different ages, different heights, and different lifestyles.
Key points about penis sizes and ethnicity
- Ethnicity is a decent indicator of penile dimensions for ethnic groups.
- Ethnicity is not a good indicator of penile dimensions for individuals, not because of the averages but because of the spread of data, and the standard ranges of sizes.
- There is a large difference between Asian Americans and Asians, which suggests environmental factors rather than hereditary ones.
Ranking of average penis length by ethnicity
- African-American/ Black
- White/Caucasian = Hispanic/Latino
- Asian American
- South-East Asian
- South Asian
- East Asian
- Ranking of average penis girth across ethnicities:
- African-American/ Black = Hispanic/Latino
- Asian American
- South-East Asian
- South Asian
- East Asian
African-Americans/ Black men have a larger spread of results, therefore they are more likely to have a larger variety of penis sizes than for example Whites and Hispanics and therefore more extremely large and extremely small penises, in comparison to the White/Hispanic population. *More data is needed
The broad average range of penis sizes for different ethnicities – what is the scale of normal/average?
Standard deviation and what is normal in examples of height and penis size
Not everyone is familiar with data spread and standard deviation, so we will provide the example of height in the United States (2010) with averages and standard deviation. Using the standard deviation (SD) will allow us to understand what is normal, as everyone has their view of what normal is.
The standard deviation allows us to establish the range of results to understand what is normal, normal height, or normal penis size.
Standard deviation is a method of identifying the average range across data by seeing how much variation there is by assessing how to spread out the data is from the mean. There is a 68–95–99.7 rule, also known as the three-sigma rule or empirical rule, which illustrates nearly all values are within three standard deviations of the mean. This means that in a perfect sample of data, 68% of the data will fall within one SD of the mean, 95% of the data will fall within 2 SD of the mean and 99.7% of the data will fall within 3 SD of the mean.
Comparing height and penis sizes averages
What is normal in an example of male height in the United States
In the US men’s heights have a mean of 69.1 inches (175.5cm) and a standard deviation of 2.9 inches (7.3cm), while female heights have an of mean 63.7 inches (161.8cm) and a standard deviation of 2.7 inches (6.6cm) according to data from 2010.
From this graph, we see what is normal and what approximate percentage of the US male population fits within these percentages.
With the average height is 175.5cm or 5’76 men in the US (2010), with a standard deviation of 7.3 cm and 68–95–99.7 rule we can say the following:
68% were 168.2-182.8 cm or 5’52 – 6′ tall
95% were 160.9-190.1 cm or 5’28 – 6’2 tall
99.7% were 153.6-197.4 cm or 5’04 – 6’48 tall
Which sounds very reasonable. Therefore the same approach can be used to analyze average human penis size ranges. If you think of the extremes, then men shorter than 153.6 cm (under 5 feet) are as rare as men who are 197.4cm tall (over 6’5), each would be around 15 out of 10000. Even if you consider the NBA, which appears to be a sport for the tallest of people, the average height of NBA players is 6’7, even by these standards, in the USA alone there would be around 250,000 men taller than 6’5, but considering that the population of United States is 316,000,000, and half of that is men – the number of 250,000 doesn’t sound that massive = 0.15 % out of over 300 million. Consider this when thinking of extreme penis sizes, the smallest and the largest penises are in a clear minority.
Ethnicity-based average erect penis size: length and girth (width/circumference)
Caucasian, white, non-Latino, Mediterranean – mainly Europe, Russia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, parts of South America, and South Africa
Average erect penis length: 14.50 cm – 5.7 inches
Standard deviation: 2.4 cm – 0.95 inch
Average erect penis girth: 12.25 cm – 4.8 inches
Standard deviation: 1.30 cm – 0.50 inches
Hispanic, Latino – mainly Mexico, Central America, North America, and South America
Average erect penis length: 14.45 cm – 5.7 inches
Standard deviation: 2.4 cm – 0.95 inches
Average erect penis girth: 12.30 cm – 4.8 inches
Standard deviation: 1.30 cm – 0.50 inches
Asian-American (perhaps similar figures for Asian Australians, Asian New Zealanders, etc, in the US alone there are up to 12 million Asian-Americans)
Average erect penis length: 14.15 cm – 5.6 inches
Standard deviation: 2.89 cm – 1.14 inches
Average erect penis girth: 12.10 cm – 4.75 inches
Standard deviation: 2.35 cm – 0.9 inches
Black, African, African-American, and Afro-European – Mainly in Africa, North America, Europe, Middle-east
Average erect penis length: 14.75 cm – 5.8 inches
Standard deviation: 3.1 cm – 1.2 inches
Average erect penis girth: 12.29 – 4.8 inches
Standard deviation: 2.57 cm – 1 inch
Middle-eastern – Mainly Arab Peninsula, Israel, North Africa, Near East, Central Asia
Average erect penis length: 13.90 cm – 5.5 inches
Standard deviation: 2.4 cm – 0.95 inches
Average erect penis girth: 11.90 – 4.7 inches
Standard deviation: 1.30 cm – 0.50 inches
East Asian – Mainly China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia
Average erect penis length: 12.90 cm – 5.1 inches
Standard deviation: 1.3 cm – 0.5 inches
Average erect penis girth: 10.5 cm – 4 inches
Standard deviation: 0.9 cm – 0.35 inches
South Asian – Mainly India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan
Average erect penis length: 13.01 cm – 5.1 inches
Standard deviation: 1.62 cm – 0.6 inches
Average erect penis girth: 11.46 cm – 4.5 inches
Standard deviation: 1.35 cm – 0.5 inches
South East Asian – Mainly Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore
Average erect penis length: 13.65 cm – 5.4 inches
Standard deviation: 1.5 cm – 0.4 inches
Average erect penis girth: 11.2 cm – 4.54 inches
Standard deviation: 0.9cm – 0.35 inches
Average penis size by country
Penis sizes in Europe
here are several studies that have measured the average penis size in different countries around the world. However, it is important to note that these studies can vary in methodology and the populations they sample, so the results may not be perfectly comparable. Some of these are self-report studies, which cannot be relied upon.
Here is a summary of the findings from some of the more reliable studies that have measured average penis size in European countries:
- France: According to one study, the average penis size in France is about 13.9 cm (5.5 inches) when erect.
- Germany: Another study found that the average penis size in Germany is about 14.4 cm (5.7 inches) when erect.
- Italy: One study found that the average penis size in Italy is about 13.5 cm (5.3 inches) when erect.
- Spain: A study found that the average penis size in Spain is about 13.8 cm (5.4 inches) when erect.
- United Kingdom: A study found that the average penis size in the United Kingdom is about 14.3 cm (5.6 inches) when erect.
Below is a whole list of European countries and approximate penis lengths measured.
|Country||Medical Publication||Year||Average erect penis length|
|Albania||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Austria||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Belarus||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Belgium||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Bulgaria||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Croatia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Czechia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Denmark||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Estonia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Finland||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|France||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (13.9 cm)|
|Germany||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.7 inches (14.4 cm)|
|Greece||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Hungary||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Iceland||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Ireland||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Italy||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.3 inches (13.5 cm)|
|Latvia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Lithuania||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Malta||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Moldova||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Montenegro||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Netherlands||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|North Macedonia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Norway||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Poland||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Portugal||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.1 inches (13 cm)|
|Romania||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Russia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Serbia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Slovakia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Slovenia||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Spain||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Sweden||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|Switzerland||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.4 inches (13.8 cm)|
|Turkey||Journal of Sexual Medicine||2014||5.5 inches (14 cm)|
|United Kingdom||British Journal of Urology International||1996||5.6 inches (14.3 cm)|
It is important to note that these measurements are just averages and that there is a wide range of normal penis sizes. Some of the data is from self-report studies. Most men fall within this range, and penis size is not necessarily a measure of sexual attractiveness or pleasure.
Penis sizes in North America
There are several studies that have measured the average penis size in different countries around the world, including in North America. However, it is important to note that these studies can vary in methodology and the populations they sample, so the results may not be perfectly comparable.
Here is a summary of the findings from some of the more reliable studies that have measured average penis size in North American countries:
- Canada: According to one study, the average penis size in Canada is about 14.1 cm (5.6 inches) when erect.
- United States: There is a discrepancy between self-reported penis measurements and clinically measured penis size, the difference is almost an inch. Taking into account, the volunteer basis of the self-report studies, it is most likely that the average penis size in the United States is the lower figure of 14.1 cm (5.6 inches), comparable to neighboring countries Canada and Mexico.
- A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2014 found that the average penis size in the United States is about 5.6 inches (14.1 cm) when erect.
- A study published in the British Journal of Urology International in 1996 found that the average penis size in the United States is about 5.1 inches (13 cm) when erect.
- A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research in 2002 found that the average penis size in the United States is about 5.5 inches (14 cm) when erect.
- Mexico: Two studies found similar figures with an average penis size in Mexico being about 14.0 cm (5.5 inches) when erect.
It is important to note that these measurements are just averages and that there is a wide range of normal penis sizes. Most men fall within this range, and penis size is not necessarily a measure of sexual attractiveness or pleasure.
Taking into account the massive diversity within these countries and comparable measurements, it is safe to assume that the approximate European erect penis length is about 5.5 inches or 14cm.
Environmental effect on human penile dimensions
There appears to be a large difference between Asians and Asian Americans when it comes to average penis sizes, as with the points above hereditary factors play a role along with the environment.
There appears to be a weak correlation between penis size to height and there is a significant height difference between Asians in Asia and Asian Americans. This alone is not enough to play a significant enough role. However, the diet and lifestyle of the people might differ in terms of body development, both in the womb and during puberty which may play a significant role in developing secondary sexual characteristics.
Secondary sexual characteristics in males include the growth of pubic hair, facial hair, and voice deepening.
Also, the Asian-Americans may be the second generation of mixed-race couples and therefore would have a larger variety across the gene pool which is beneficial for the individual in general. Across many mammal species the larger, healthier specimens are often an example of two diverse individuals coming together.
It may also be that the larger penis size-related genes are dominant and therefore more likely to be passed on to the next generation.
This, like much about sexual health and physical characteristics, needs further study, however, if we take, for example, height as a well-studied physical characteristic then compare it to penis sizes:
Humans are about as diverse in human male height as in penis size
There is approximately a 10-15 % difference in averages for both penile dimensions and height, which may be correlated.
The average male height in India (shortest?) is 162.2 cm
The average male height in Holland (tallest) is 183.8 cm
About a 13% difference
The average East Asian penis length is 12.90 cm
The average African-American/ Black penis length is 14.75 cm
About a 14% difference
As you can see the difference between extremes is minor, but it may be mostly related to the diet and lifestyle of individuals. It is believed that diet and lifestyle have a massive effect on the height of a human being, it may be similar to other physical characteristics, such as the penile dimensions. Moreover, studies in Asia have shown that in countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong where the standards of living are higher than that of neighboring regions, people tend to be taller. In North America and Europe however, there may be a difference between urban and rural, because of lifestyles, and diet (consider the fast-food effect on the well-being of individuals, especially in inner cities).