Ethnic Groups and Anthropometric Differences in Colombia

Produced by: 
Banco de la República de Colombia
Available from: 
Agosto 2012
Paper author(s): 
Karina Acosta (Banco de la República)
Adolfo Meisel (Banco de la República)
Topic: 
Demographic Economics and Migration
Year: 
2012

Using data from the 2010 Colombia Demographic and Health Survey and of the National Survey of the Nutritional Situation in Colombia (ENDS-ENSIN), we analyzed the evolution of the height for the Colombian birth cohorts in the period 1946-1992 by ethnic groups defined through self-classification. We find that there are statistically significant differences in height between the ethnic groups considered. Those who identified themselves as Afrocolombians have greater average height than the indigenous group and are also taller than those who don’t identify themselves as belonging to either of these two groups. This latter category was denominated in the survey as others. We also find that the height gap between afros and others became smaller during the time period under study. Moreover, the results suggest that the Colombian indigenous group has a higher potential for growth in ‘biological well-being’ if their socioeconomic status improves. 

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