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BMI Chart for Women

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of your body weight per unit of height (calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared). BMI is often used by doctors, personal trainers, and other healthcare professionals to determine if someone is over, under, or average weight. Although not as accurate or useful to know as your body fat percentage, body mass index gives you a general idea of whether or not you should lose weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a healthy BMI for females?

A healthy BMI range for women is generally between 18.5 and 24.9. That said, if a woman is leaner and has more muscle mass than average, it’s possible to be perfectly healthy despite having a BMI over 24.9. It’s rare to find a woman who is healthy with a BMI of less than ~17, though.

Is BMI calculated differently for males and females?

No. The equation for calculating BMI for males and females is identical. That said, men will generally have a lower percentage of their body weight that’s fat, which is why it’s also a good idea to measure your body fat percentage.

What is a good BMI for my age?

Your ideal weight doesn’t change as you get older. Although many people do gain weight as they get older, this is not necessarily “natural” or healthy. Instead, it’s typically due to a lack of activity and excessive intake of calories, which cause slow, steady weight gain over time.

That said, gaining a small amount of weight in old age isn’t necessarily unhealthy either, so long as you’re still roughly within a healthy BMI range of around 18.5 to 24.9 (or slightly higher, if you have a lot of muscle mass).

What should BMI be for a 5’4” female?

The average height for a woman in the United States is 5’4” tall, which means a healthy weight would be around 110 to 140 pounds.

Are BMI charts accurate for “big-boned” women?

Yes. Although some women do have thicker, denser bones than others (thanks to resistance training and genetics), the differences are too small to meaningfully impact your BMI.

Are BMI charts accurate for muscular women?

BMI calculators will often classify muscular, lean women as “overweight,” because BMI calculators only account for total body weight and not body composition. Thus, if you know you’re fairly lean (less than 25% body fat for women), don’t worry if you’re “overweight” according to a BMI calculator—research shows this isn’t unhealthy.

That said, if a BMI chart classifies someone as “obese,” there’s virutally no chance this is due to naturally high levels of muscle mass. Either the person is carrying more body fat than they realize or they’re taking steroids.

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