Stature Estimation From Finger Length Of The Indian Population


One of the most significant and practical anthropometric factors that characterizes a person’s physical identity is stature or body height. They are crucial for identifying people in the case of homicides, accidents, or natural disasters. Most often the personal identity of the deceased is a mystery in medico legal cases. It is widely used in the forensic identification. Stature  estimation is  an  essential element  of  medico-legal investigation  when the identification  of  unknown  dismembered remains are involved. In order to assess body size for the purpose of identification, anthropologists frequently utilize and medical scientists have adopted anthropometric techniques. In this study, the stature examination from the finger length is conducted. A total of two hundred samples  [hundred males and hundred females] were collected for the examination.


The present period of development and digital technology has made it easier to identify a person for many characteristics such as their national identity, gender, age, and career1. It is essential to resolve crimes everywhere in the world. Without it, we would still live in the age of Sherlock Holmes, concluding potentially fatal events from less trustworthy facts2.

A highly developed society and economy are the results of technology. Today, technology is used in all facets of life. Technology advancements also contribute to a safer environment by bringing down crime rates. Technology is the application and understanding of techniques or these things in systems. Technology has long been used in the criminal justice system, but it is now more widely used. Technology in criminal justice will keep us thinking critically about how we transform data into knowledge.

Criminal investigations can maintain and enhance their methods thanks to new technology. Recent technological advancements are opening up new opportunities for performing reliable scientific measurements3. Real-time, on-site forensic investigations have numerous advantages, and new technology can significantly speed up and improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system.

Technology can be a key catalyst for transforming scientific discoveries and ideas into innovations. Technology advancements have given law enforcement access to additional tools and resources, making it more difficult for criminals to get away with their deeds. Because of this, the need for these technologies has only grown over time4. Additionally, there has been an upsurge in the general public’s interest in forensics.

These technological developments are assisting law enforcement agencies across the country in solving crimes and resolving open cases. In forensic anthropology, identifying unidentified human remains or skeletal remains is a major challenge. Various measurements and observations can make on both the skeletal and live man using anthropometry’s scientific methodology and procedures5. The standard and established instrument in physical anthropology is anthropometry. With the increase in violent crime and fatalities in the nation, forensic anthropology is progressively gaining popularity as a subject of study. Every person has distinctive traits and an individual identity that should acknowledge after death for both family comfort and legal reasons6.

Anthropology studies different facets of people within existing and past communities. Social and cultural anthropologists investigate societal customs and values of the study of people and their ancestors across time and location and their physical characteristics, environments, social interactions, and cultures7.

Language’s impact on social interaction is the subject of linguistic anthropology. It is the branch of anthropology that uses linguistic methods to anthropological problems, bridging the understanding of sociocultural processes with the study of language forms and processes8.

The biological evolution of people is studied in biological or physical anthropology. It looks at the biological and social variables that have influenced the evolution of humans and other primates, as well as those that create, maintain, or alter the genetic and physiological diversity we see today9.

Archaeology is the study of ancient human cultures through the examination of physical remains.

Past societies’ cultural and material life is documented through artifacts, faunal remnants, and altered landscapes10. Archaeologists investigate this material remains to infer patterns of earlier human behavior and cultural traditions. An interdisciplinary branch of anthropology, psychological anthropology, examines how cultural and psychological processes interact.

Physical anthropology and human osteology are applied in a legal setting through forensic anthropology, most frequently in cases of murder or other violent crimes where the victim’s remains have already decomposed11. When identifying the remains of the deceased is difficult due to decomposition, burning, mutilation, or other factors, a forensic anthropologist can help.

The study of anthropology builds on knowledge from the natural sciences, such as the origin and evolution of humans, human physical characteristics, human behavior, variations among various human groups, and how the evolutionary past of humans has affected its social organization and culture, as well as knowledge from the social sciences, including the establishment of social institutions and social conflicts.

Stature, sex, ancestry, and age are forensic anthropology’s “big four” for determining a person’s identity. Out of the four, stature, sex, and ancestry have all been researched in this study. The information gathered can be used for identification in forensic medicine and anthropology. Depending on the nature of the issue, different numbers and measurements have been made12.  The size and shape of the human body’s absolute and relative variability are measured using anthropometric techniques. Anthropometric equipment may comprise a scale, an anthropometry, skin fold calipers, body volume tanks, and bioelectrical impedance analyzers, depending on the aim.


Ancient Greek historical and philosophical texts on human nature and the structure of human society are where anthropology gets its start. Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the 400 BC, is generally regarded by anthropologists as the first thinker to write extensively on ideas that would later become essential to anthropology. In his book History, Herodotus wrote about the civilizations of the numerous Persian Empire peoples that the Greeks subjugated in the first half of 400 BC. He referred to Persia as the Eastern dominating civilization and Greece as the dominant Western culture. This distinction between white people of European heritage and other peoples set the style that would eventually use in most anthropological writing.

Another early author of concepts pertinent to anthropology was the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, who lived in the 14th century. Khaldun researched the sociological, psychological, economic, and environmental aspects of how civilizations developed, rose, and fell. Although they frequently relied on secondhand knowledge, Khaldun and Herodotus both offered surprisingly impartial, analytical, anthropological descriptions of the many cultures in the Mediterranean region.

In the 1920s and 1930s, under the influence of German-born American anthropologist Franz Boas, anthropology in the United States evolved into the four-field academic discipline. Boas desired that anthropology be regarded as legitimate science. He had a keen interest in all fields of anthropological study and had conducted renowned fieldwork in everything but archaeology. From 1899 until his retirement in 1937, he served as a professor at Columbia University in New York City, where he helped define the field and educated many of the most well-known American anthropologists.


► Are the remains human?

► Are the remains a single individual or mixed remains of several individual?

► When did the death occur or the time of death?

► What are the gender, age and race of the individual?

► What was the cause of death?

► What kind of death was it; a homicide, a suicide, accident or a natural death or is the cause still undetermined?

► Can the individuals height, body weight and physique be estimated?

Similar radiographic equipment and x-ray scanners measure cortical bone density, bone mass, subcutaneous fat density, and lean body mass. Examples include dual-energy ray absorption meters and ultrasound densitometers.

In forensic identification, anthropometry—the study of expressing human shape in numbers—has been extensively applied. Identification involves identifying a person’s sex, age, race, and stature. The importance of sex and stature among these factors cannot be overstated1.  Rollet was the first to pursue research in this area in 1888.

He demonstrated the connection between various body measures and stature using the measurements of male and female corpses. Mathematician Pearson used this information in 1899 to create regression equations that he claimed were population-specific3. Since then, several developments in this area have been successfully included in the identification procedures.

The height of a person standing straight is their stature. It plays a significant bodily identity role. One of the most crucial characteristics to identify someone is their “stature.”

The size of the legs, pelvis, vertebral column and head are all included in this complicated anatomical structure, and each one’s contribution to the whole differs depending on the individual and the population5.  Height can be predicted more precisely from foot measurements than from long bone measurements because ossification and maturation occur earlier in the foot than in the long bones. People of various regions and races have different methods for calculating stature from measurements.

In forensic examinations, estimating stature is a crucial characteristic in identifying mixed-up, disfigured, and skeletal remains. In investigating the identities of victims of fatal assaults and large-scale disasters, identifying isolated extremities is a matter of critical importance. The process of reconstructing a person’s stature is crucial because it offers a forensic anthropological estimate of a person’s height in their living condition, which is essential for identifying people. It is frequently necessary to confirm the victims’ identities. In forensic investigations, estimating the extremities’ stature and components is crucial for identifying the deceased.

The various techniques for estimating stature have received increased attention from anthropologists and forensic specialists. Forensic sciences, in particular, employ anthropometry extensively to identify people, which is a crucial first step in any criminal inquiry. Age, sex, race, and other characteristics are only a few elements considered for identification.

The first and most crucial step in forensic investigations and medico-legal procedures is establishing a person’s identity. In anthropological cases, forensic identification is typically accomplished by inspecting the body or the person’s remnants. Thus, the feet and footprints take on a great deal of significance, especially when a body is absent or partial. The numerous investigations that have been done on feet and footprints lend credence to this claim. Additionally, it may argue that body fragments and extremities are frequently the sole remnants found in large-scale catastrophes like aircraft accidents, bombings, and war11.

In the subject of forensic anthropometry, estimation of stature is quite essential. Due to recent natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, and artificial disasters like terror attacks, bomb blasts, mass accidents, wars, and plane crashes, identifying a person from mangled, decomposed, and amputated corpse fragments has become a crucial necessity. It is crucial for legal and humanitarian grounds alike. Stature is one of the most crucial characteristics that help identify a person.


O.P. Jasuja et al. calculation of stature based on hand length was published in 2004. The measurements are gathered from 60 people, ages ranging from 18 to 60. The height and these measurements exhibit a statistically significant correlation. The regression equations constructed from these measurements led to the conclusion that stature can calculate from all of these measurements.

Sanli SG et al. estimate the Stature using the hand length in 2005. Based on a sample of male and female adult Turks living in Adana, this study was conducted to determine the link between hand length and stature using multiple linear regression analysis. Measurements were gathered from 155 adults (80 men and 75 women) between the ages of 17 and 23 to determine the results.

K. Krishna et al. 2007 study on the North Indian population used hand size to estimate stature. In forensic investigations, estimating the length of extremities and their components is crucial for identifying the deceased. This study investigates the association between tall and hand size among North India’s endogamous Rajput of Himachal Pradesh. This study made it possible to estimate Rajput’s’ stature using a variety of hand measurements. The sample of 246 people, 123 males, and 123 females, who ranged in age from 17 to 20 years, served as the basis for this study. The correlation coefficients between stature and all hand measurements discover to be statistically significant and positive.

Rastogi P et al. 2008 estimating the height of North and South Indians based on their hands’ size. The goal of the current study was to use hand length to assess a person’s stature. Five hundred right-handed medical students from northern and southern India, ranging in age from 20 to 30, are included in this study. The distal wrist crease and the middle finger’s tip are used to measure the length of the hand and the midpoint of the inter-styloid line and the middle finger. Between north and south Indians, there was no discernible difference in hand measurements. Compared to linear regression equations, multiple regression equations get better results.

B.G. Chikhalkar et al. measurements of hand dimensions were used in 2009. This study makes an effort to assess any potential relationships between a person’s stature and their hand length in the local Mumbai community. Measurements were made for each parameter on a sample of 300 medical students, 147 male, and 153 female, enrolled in Grant Medical College and the Sir JJ Group of Hospitals. It was discovered that there is a correlation with stature, albeit in varying degrees. Mathematical formulas for estimating measurement are created for each parameter using fundamental linear regression.

V. Waghmare et al. estimated stature in 2010 using the hand length. One of the most significant and practical anthropometric factors determining a person’s physical identity is stature or body height. This study measured the relationship between size and hand length. Two hundred adult male subjects participated in the study. All measurements were made, and the study established a strong positive association between stature and hand length and a few multiplication factors that might be used to estimate stature from hand length.

K. Sonali et al. assessed stature in Maharashtra in 2012 using hand length measurement. This study looked into the relationship between hand length and personal importance to develop a regression formula to estimate a person’s height. One thousand seemingly healthy Maharashtra medical students between 19 and 22 participated in the study. This leads to the conclusion that for accurately assessing stature, multiple linear regression analysis is superior to fundamental linear regression analysis.

K. Krishna et al. performed a Multiplication Factor vs. Regression Analysis in Stature Estimation from Hand Dimensions in 2012. Estimating stature is a crucial factor in identifying human remains during forensic investigations. The purpose of the study is to compare the accuracy and reliability of stature estimates. The study is based on a sample of 246 participants from north India, ages 17 to 20, including 123 females and 123 males. The total number of measurements is taken, multiplication factors are computed, and linear regression models are generated. Estimating stature was derived using multiplication factors and regression analysis compared to the real stature to identify the mistake. Proving that regression analysis is a more effective method than multiplication factor analysis.

S. Khanapurkar et al. estimated stature in the Maharashtra Region using measurements of hand length in 2012. Due to its significance in medico-legal matters, estimating height from measurements of various body parts is of great interest to many anthropologists, anatomists, and forensic scientists. One thousand seemingly healthy Maharashtra medical students between 19 and 22 participated in this study. All of these measurements were made using anthropometric methods and tools that are considered to be standard. Male and female data were examined separately, as well as for both sexes combined. Multiple linear regression examination is superior to fundamental linear regression examination to estimate stature exactly.

Renu Kamal et al. estimation of stature using several anthropometric parameters in the Kori community of North India was published in 2016. In this essay, we have studied the Kori population; they are native to the Kanpur region of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This study is based on 202 people (106 females and 96 males). All measurements were accurate, and the male and female versions of the regression method were developed separately. Hand length can be used to successfully estimate stature because the difference between actual stature and the estimated stature was not statistically significant.

Agrawal J et al. estimated stature from hand length in 2013. This study was conducted to determine the height from hand length, and all measurements take from 100 males and 100 girls between the ages of 18 and 25. The results reveal a statistically significant link between stature and hand length.

Pal a et al. estimate anthropometric measures of hand length and its relationship to stature in Eastern Indian population in 2014. In this study, 235 medical students from the eastern portion of India where’s both genders were measured for hand length and stature, and a correlation between the two was found. A strong positive link between tall and hand size discover. For estimating height using hand length in the Eastern Indian population, the multiplication factor is more accurate than the regression equation.

Anwesha Paul et al. estimate the anthropometric measures of hand length and their relationship to stature in the population of Eastern India in 2014. The estimation of a person’s height is crucial for anthropologists and forensic medical professionals, as well as for nutritionists and doctors who need to analyze a person’s nutritional health physically. Two hundred thirty-five medical students from the Eastern region of India who are of both sexes were measured for their stature and hand length, and a correlation was found. A strong positive link between tall and hand size discover. The multiplication factor is more accurate for estimating height than the regression equation.

Prakash M. et al. identify the human remains is a severe issue that forensic professionals take very seriously. The goal of the current study was to develop a regression formula and determine whether there is a relationship between a person’s stature and the length of their hands. The prospective study was conducted on 230 students enrolled in medical and dentistry colleges between the ages of 17 and 25. At one given time, all measurements took. There is a clear relationship between stature and personality, making it a crucial element of identification.

A.O. Ibegbu et al. examined the anthropometric traits of 600 typically developing Nigerian schoolchildren from the Gbagyi tribe in Abuja between the ages of 5 and 10. The results of the anthropometric measurements reveal some substantial disparities in the anthropometric parameters. A significant association between height and other parameters in both males and females, including hand length. According to the study, there was a positive association between hand length and other metrics and height.


The main goal of this study was to estimate Indian population stature based on finger length. The northern region was where all of the samples were collected. The goal of this study was to determine the identification perseverance’s degree of dependability.

Scatter diagram of Male’s finger
Scatter diagram of Female’s finger

 Regression equation for estimation of stature in females.

Right handLeft  hand
fingerHeight = 100.711+8.155fingerHeight =113.487+6.651

Regression equation for estimation of stature in males.

Right handLeft hand
fingerHeight =94.150+ 7.189fingerHeight =86.380+7919

Regression coefficient estimation for males.

FingersConstant in cmRegression coefficient in cm
Right fingers138.992.37
Left fingers128.023.89

Regression coefficient estimation for females.

FingersConstant in cmRegression  coefficient in cm
Right fingers100.568.24
Left fingers13.486.76


In a judicial setting, forensic anthropology entails the identification of human remains, along with the other forensic anthropology criteria, such as age, sex, and ethnicity. When identifying unidentified dismembered remains, assessment of stature is a crucial component of medico-legal investigations.

Stature estimate and gender discrimination from bone remains have been used to identify people since very early times, but little research has been done on these topics using the length of a person’s little finger.

As a consequence of this investigation, it was discovered that measuring the length of the little finger is a good and reliable way of estimating stature and gender, which gave rise to expectations that even a Skelton remnant of the little finger may determine the identification of a suspect or victim. When determining the natural person’s identity is impossible, estimating stature, identifying gender, and determining age all aid in resolving the issue. By reducing the amount of time needed for the inquiry, this study will assist the investigators in gathering information about the victims in the local region.

Estimating stature can be pretty helpful for identification in underdeveloped nations, especially given how affordable it is. The current study will give the inhabitants of the North some baseline data. Those who work in this field, particularly in the anthropological and security fields and the numerous medical disciplines, may find this helpful. When only a few body parts are discovered, as in mass tragedies, bomb explosions, or accidents, it will aid in establishing identity in medico-legal cases. It will also aid in establishing identity in some civil situations and is more trustworthy.

This study revealed that measuring the length of the little finger is a good and accurate way to estimate stature and discriminate between genders, which gave rise to the optimistic notion that even a Skelton remnant of the little finger may reveal the identification of the culprit or victim.


  • Tyagi  AK , Kohli A , Verma SK , Aggarwal BB [1999] Correlation  between  stature  and  finger  length. International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Legal Medicine 1; 20-22.
  • Rastogi P , Kanchan T , Menezes RG , Yoganarasimha [2009] Middle  finger  length-a predictor  of  stature  in  the  Indian  population. Med Sci Law 49[2] ;123-126.
  • Van Asten AC. 2014. On  the  added  value  of  forensic  science  and  grand  innovation  challenges  for  the  forensic  community. Sci 54-170-179.
  • Tolle KM, Tansley DSW, Hey AJG, 2009. The fourth paradigm; 24; 112-115.
  • Iscan MY and Steyn M. The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine. Third Edition. Charles C. Thomas; 2013.
  • Aye VO. Determination of sex by arm bone dimensions. Forensic Sciences International. 2010; 199[1-3]; 111-3.
  • Basnet  KS , Dhungel S , Panta PP. Correlation  of  the  hand  length  and  stature  in  adult  2012 ; 14[1] 53-5.
  • Issa SY, Khanfour AA, Kharoshah M. A model  for  stature  estimation  and  sex  prediction  using  percutaneous  ulnar  and  radial  lengths  in  autopsied  adults. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. 2016 Jun 30; 6[2]; 84-9.
  • Havilland , William A ; Prins , Harald E.L ; McBride , Bunny ; Walrath , Dana [2010] , Cultural Anthropology , 13th edition.0-495-81-7.
  • Robbins, R.H. and Larkin, S.N. [2007]. Cultural Anthropology; A problem based approach. National Education Ltd.
  • What is anthropology – American Anthropological Association? Aaanet. Org. Retrieved on 2016-11-02.
  • Harris, Marvin. The rise of anthropological theory. Alta Mira Press.2000, Harris, Marvin. Theories of cultural in postmodern times. Altamira 1998.

About The Author

Anuwanshi sharma is a researcher in field of forensic science. She also contributes to various forensic websites as a guest writer.

error: Content is protected !!