White Americans’ Heads Are Getting Bigger—Literally, Study Shows

Meghan Holohan, MSNBC, June 4, 2012

If someone complains that a person has a big head, it’s normally considered a dig at the enormity of that person’s ego. But when it comes to white Americans, being labeled as big-headed shouldn’t be considered a criticism as much as an apt description: Over the past 150 years, the size of white Americans’ craniums have actually increased in size.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center (what Mary Roach calls “the body farm” in her book “Stiff”) routinely examine skulls to try to determine sex and race of the craniums so if police officers discover just a skull, there are guidelines for gleaning info about it. The database of skulls and bodies has steadily increased to include people who were born and died in the 20th century, whereas prior the skulls were from people born in the 19th century.

As researchers Lee Jantz, coordinator of Forensic Anthropology Center, Richard Jantz, professor emeritus, and Joanne Devlin, adjunct assistant professor, catalogued 1,500 noggins they observed that white people who were born in the 20th century had bigger heads.

They looked at white skulls because they wanted to have a large sample and they don’t have as many black and Hispanic skulls. {snip}

The height of white male skulls has increased by eight millimeters and the overall skull has grown by 200 cubic centimeters. For women, cranium height increased by seven millimeters and overall by 180 cubic centimeters.

“The basic thing that we observed over the course of looking at crania that belong to people born from 1820s to 1980s, is that the cranium has gotten higher and narrower,” says Richard Jantz, who is married to Lee.


Bigger heads typically mean bigger brains, and while Richard Jantz and his colleagues did not look at brain size, he suspects brain size also increased. There are several theories why brains might be brawnier.

Over the past 100 years, life in America changed dramatically. People no longer toil in the fields, and they don’t struggle to consume enough calories. We have too much food and not enough physical activity. This means our bodies don’t have to divide fewer calories between the body and the brain, so enough energy can go to the brain, allowing it to balloon. Improved medicine also contributes to larger heads—in the past babies with bulbous heads could not escape the birth canal and many died. With the increase of C-sections, more and more of these big-headed babes make it into the world.


Jantz also notes that Americans mature faster now than they did in earlier centuries. In the 19th century, on average, girls reached menarche at 16 or 17, whereas modern girls reach it by 12 or 13, indicating that humans are growing more rapidly.



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Forensic anthropologists discuss race and racial difference?

    That would be news to cultural anthropologists, who keep on insisting that race is a social construct.

    • Francis Galton

       Took the words right out of my. . . head. . . .

      • JackKrak

        Mine too. And this from MSNBC of all places.

  • Hopefully, these NEW BIG BRAINS will figure out what to do with coloreds by 2050 – when they grow up outnumbered. 

    • Stop feeding them with our taxes and 90% will die off.

      • Maobama will FEED THEM MORE. He wants their votes.
        Maobama III wants their 235 grandkids’ votes.

  • Yes, but it also may have something to do with the quite different mixes of White nationalities and ethnicities, especially comparing skulls from before the Great Wave of immigration, mostly from Britain and Northern Europe, to those that came afterwards, largely from Southern and Eastern Europe!?!

    • Villly

      Yeah, I guess Eastern Europeans do have bigger heads and also broader faces, jaws than “Westerners”. I visit Ex-Yu several times a year to visit my familiy there and I always kind of noticed that.

  • I found this video the other day:


    It culminates in the idea of real-time human evolution.

    What I found interesting is the speaker provocatively wonders why there is only one human species (is that really true?) and how small mutations have to be to make a difference to create a new species.

    • No, it’s really not true… at least in my opinion.

      The same goobers who say there is only one human race will go out of their way to try and find and/or protect a subspecies of bug or bird that differs very little from others of it’s type.

      The Spotted Owl is a perfect example.  By all accounts, it differed from other owls by only a couple spots, nothing more.  Yet, to get it ‘protected’ status, they had it declared an endangered sub-species worthy of protection.

      Going by what the tree-huggers use as a yardstick, there is not ONE species of human, but many.

      • MikeofAges

         It’s ab out advancing the dialectic, man. You got to get with it!

      • haroldcrews

        Additionally since it is fairly well established that cross-breeding between neanderthals and homo sapiens occurred then species isn’t defined as an inbreeding group.  Genes can be spread across species through reproduction.

  • Johnny Reb

    I know my head is getting bigger.  Everytime I read about black crime, black gibsme, black rape, black arrogance and the newest liberal stupidity,  it feels like my head is going to explode.  But it eventually goes back to normal.

    That constant stretching it out must be making it bigger.

    • I know how you feel.

      Sometimes I get the urge to duct-tape my head up so when my head finally explodes from the Stupid, it won’t make such a mess.

  • eunometic

    I know that the anti-White  Franz Boaz faked his skull measurements but does this give credence to his theories?

  • IstvanIN

    Good golly, we are evolving and will eventually look like this:

  • Spartan24708

    This might be on to something, my son has a huge head! His pediatrician was actually worried a little but a CAT scan showed what I had known all along- he just has a big head. Now that he is a year old he seems to be growing into in somewhat but he is a cutie regardless. 

    •  It’s going to get to a point where white heads are so big that natural childbirth will be impossible.

      • Spartan24708

        I have to wonder- selective breeding in snub nose dogs has gotten to the point where a majority of English Bulldogs have to be born by c-section. 

    • Please have more beautiful White babies!

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    heads up, amreners  this black clown warren ballentine on the sharpton radio channel   show is threatening that al-qaeda is going to finance and arm young black males to foment a race war. it was stated on tonights show. i say bring it on. blacks are clowns but dont underestimate them. prepare

    •  I have heard that the initial big push to spread Islam to American black prison inmates was financed by Libya/Quadaffi.  Can anyone corroborate?

      Thought these are blacks they’re trying to use as proxies, we both know it will be a failure  at least according to their expectations.  What it might do is draw our attention out of the Middle East and South Asia, which is what they really want.  If it means we finally combat black crime and wrap things up in Afghanistan, it will be a blessing in disguise.

    • SirKevin1231

      Well if you are white and will not take up arms to keep your family safe, you deserve to be left at the will of the negro. This means your women will be raped repeatedly, even your little boys and girls will be sodomized as the negro has no emotion. The negro just wants to get his. Then when they have used your family up they will start butchering your family one by one making you watch the entire time.
      Just remember you could have prevented all of this. You could of killed those negroes before they knocked down your door.
      Too bad your liberalism cost you and your family indescribable horrors and unwanted pain.

  • KingKenton

    You mean we will all end up looking like Beavis and Butthead one day? Putting aside that horrible prospect… I thought we had been spanked and told to sit in the corner by the Liberals because we studied cranium size as it relates to race and IQ?

  • KingKenton

    You are assuming of course that most Whites would put up resistance. My money say that most Whites will not.

  • s shadow

    It’s almost certain that this data relates to the Flynn Effect.  Factors such as a better diet and control of childhood diseases, avoiding nutrient loss with diarrheal disease, getting antibiotics to ameliorate infectious disease severity and getting continuously adequate supplies of trace vitamins and minerals would  likely allow growth to full genetic potential.  However as we reach full genetic potential, that effect, and probably head growth will stop increasing once at full potential.  A flattening of the Flynn effect is already being seen in some places.  The one wild card is C sections which will allow unlimited head size.  It is thought that the generational Flynn difference has a different origin that the black-white difference.  Whites from long ago with an IQ supposedly similar to black IQ now, built strong societies, invented things, and were generally far superior to blacks now.  It might be said that with better nutrition from birth, that Greyhounds and Pit Bulls would both increase their speed, but the gap would never close and their temperments would never converge.

    Wiki has a discussion of Flynn Effect.

  • lughon

    That strategy by Al Queda would be a winner for them, as would the one about starting fires in the West. An open society is a vulnerable society. Not that we wont be able to deal with these, but on top of everything else it might hasten the fall – which might be good or bad.

  • haroldcrews

    The question comes up that because of university dependence on government grants will genetic research particularly research that deals in racial distinctives continue to be produced? Will private research and foreign research be the ones that shatter the dogma of racial equality?

  • Sherman_McCoy

    So, where is the complimentary study on black brains?  Or couldn’t they dig up enough for a study?

  • Spartan24708

    Thanks! He has really been a blessing after losing my parents just before he was born. 

  • “They looked at white skulls because they wanted to have a large sample and they don’t have as many black and Hispanic skulls. ‘


  • The difference between IQ and education is the difference between the size of the bucket and the amount of water inside the bucket.  I wonder if the Flynn Effect was measuring the amount of water increasing inside a given bucket, and not a supposedly expanding bucket.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

     Most of the people with the highest IQs are short.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    Read a news article just recently.  The correlation with earlier menarche is closely related to the amount of fat in the diet.