When Do Girls Stop Growing?

Find out what age girls stop growing and what factors can influence the timeline.

The timing of puberty plays a pivotal role in when a girl reaches their full adult height. As a result, the age girls stop growing varies, but typically, it is around 14 or 15 years old. While girls tend to start and end puberty earlier than boys, a biological difference usually isn't noticeable until after the age of 10.

"If you look at the growth chart for both [males] and [females], there's a smooth, steady slope until they reach 11 to 14 years, which is when most kids get into the pubertal stage," says Danton Kono, M.D., a pediatrician with Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group in California.

On the other hand, it can take some boys well into their college years to reach the final adult height. "[Females] can enter pubertal development as early as age 8, whereas [males] might be 9 or 10 years old if they're on the early end," says Dr. Kono.

Editor's Note

While this article uses the terms "boy" and "girl," it's important to note that gender is a personal identity that exists on a spectrum, can change over the course of a person's lifetime—and, most importantly—is something that a person defines for themselves. Sex, on the other hand, is assigned at birth based on the appearance of a baby's genitalia. While sex assigned at birth often matches a person's gender (called cisgender), sometimes, for transgender, intersex, and gender nonbinary people, it does not.

When Do Girls Stop Growing?

After their first menstrual cycle, it isn't long before girls can reach full adult height. In fact, girls stop growing taller and reach their final adult height just two to two and a half years after that first menstrual cycle.

The beginning signs of female puberty, including breast development, body hair growth, and vaginal discharge, are indicators that your child may soon begin to grow in height faster than they were before. Females who are going through puberty typically experience a growth spurt after their breasts begin to develop, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, followed by their first period two to three years later.

What's the Average Girl Height?

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average height of adult women over the age of 20 in the U.S. is 63.5 inches (161.3 centimeters). The CDC Growth Chart for Girls (2–20 years old) provides a closer look at the median height of girls in the years leading up to reaching full adult height. Approximately half of girls are expected to be shorter and half will be taller than the median height at each age.

CDC Stature-for-Age Growth Chart for Girls (50th Percentile)
Age (years) Median Height (inches) Median Height (centimeters)
8 50.2 in 127.4 cm
52.4 in 133 cm
10  54.3 in 138 cm
11  56.7 in 144 cm
12  59.4 in 151 cm
13  61.8 in 157 cm
14  63.2 in 160.5 cm
15  63.8 in 162 cm
16  64 in 162.5 cm
17  64 in 163 cm
18 64 in 163 cm
Data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As expected, the CDC growth chart shows a plateau in height between 15 and 16 years, reflecting the fact that most girls stop growing around age 15 while others will continue to get taller up to and beyond the age of 16 but not generally past the age of 18.

While growth charts can be helpful tools for accessing growth, it's important to note that a child's percentile (or place on the chart) doesn't reveal a full picture of their overall health. That is to say that if someone has body measurements that fall outside the averages on the growth chart, that does not automatically mean that there is something wrong.

Similarly, having body measurements that follow the average percentile for height and weight for their age, also does not indicate a picture of health. Stature growth is influenced by many factors, including nutrition and genetics.

Signs That Girls Have Stopped Growing in Height

Most girls will stop growing in height about two and a half years after they have started menstruating. But menstruation isn't the only indication that stature growth has stopped or will stop soon. Other signs that a girl has stopped growing or will stop growing soon include:

  • Body hair, including pubic and underarm hair, has finished growing.
  • There has been very slow or no growth in height for a year or more.
  • Breasts, hips, and genitals are fully developed.
  • Appearance in general, including the face shape and features, is more adult-like.

Another way to tell if a girl has likely stopped growing in height is to use medical testing. That said, medical tests to look specifically at growth are not generally ordered unless there is concern about a child's growth due to underlying conditions. The following are two measurements that doctors can use to look at a child's growth:

  • Pediatric bone age: Determining pediatric bone age requires taking X-ray images of the left wrist and hand and comparing them against a standardized index to show growth. This test can also reveal information about nutrition, health, and skeletal maturity levels.
  • Hormone levels: Growth hormone (GH) levels can reveal if a child is growing at an expected average rate when compared to the growth charts. Doctors can look at GH levels with a simple blood test.

Height Prediction Methods for Girls

While there's no precise way to accurately predict how tall a girl will be, there are two common methods pediatricians use to estimate a girl's final adult height.

Mid-parental height calculator

Some doctors use what's known as a "mid-parental height calculator" to predict adult height, though Dr. Kono says he isn't a fan of the method because "it's still very inaccurate."

For this calculation, you take your child's biological's father's height and subtract 5 inches, then add that number to the child's biological mother's height and divide that sum by 2. The resulting number, plus or minus 3.35 inches, is the predicted range of height the child should reach.

"For example, if dad is 5'10" and mom is 5'5", you would take 5'10" minus 5 inches, that's 5'5", add it to mom's height and average the two, which is 5'5"—that's a prediction that their [child] should grow to be 5'5", give or take about 3 inches," explains Dr. Kono.

Growth chart

Dr. Zoltan Antal, chief of pediatric endocrinology at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine, uses a different method. For a child who's already going through puberty, he recommends finding their height percentile on a growth chart and following the corresponding curve.

Using the CDC growth chart, for example, a 10-year-old female who stands 54 inches tall (4'6") is in the 50th percentile for their age. Following that growth curve, they would be expected to reach a height of just over 5'4" no later than age 18.

Factors That Influence Height for Girls

The start of puberty might help predict when growth in height will end, but what influences how tall that full height will ultimately be? Here are several important factors that can heavily influence growth:

  • Genetics: Kids whose biological parents are taller than average are more likely to end up being tall as well, and kids with shorter biological parents might also be shorter than average.
  • Genetic disorders: Genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome, Down syndrome, Achondroplasia, and Russell-Silver syndrome can play a significant role in stature.
  • Chronic conditions: Chronic conditions such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease can impede growth, according to Indiana University Health.
  • History of malnutrition: Malnutrition during childhood can impact height because, without proper nutrients, a child can experience slowed weight gain and stature growth.

When to See a Doctor

If your child seems far beyond or behind their peers in physical development, it may be time to talk to a pediatrician. Females who don't show signs of breast development by age 13 and/or don't have their first menses by age 15 or 16 are considered delayed in puberty. On the flip side, a child who's showing signs of puberty at 6 or 7 years old could be experiencing early puberty.

"With either of those extremes, have their pediatrician take a look because there could be medical or endocrine (hormonal) problems causing early or delayed puberty," says Dr. Kono. Pediatricians can do a bone age X-ray to determine if your child is on track to reach average adult height.

Key Takeaways

Most girls will stop growing around two to two and a half years after they begin puberty—usually between 14 and 15 years old. While you might not be able to look into the future to see your child's final adult height, you can look at indicators such as growth charts and factors like family genes, underlying health conditions, and overall health to get a good idea of how tall your child will be.

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