CDC/NCHS Growth Charts
Pediatric growth charts have been used by pediatricians, nurses and parents to track the physical growth of infants, children, and adolescents in the United States since they were created in 1977. The original charts were developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) as a clinical tool for health professionals to determine if the physical growth of a child is adequate or inadequate. The charts were also adopted by the World Health Organization for international use. The growth charts consist of a series of curves called "percentiles" that illustrate the distribution of children across the country according to selected body measurements.
How to Use the Growth Charts
The information contained in each chart is meant to give a percentile ranking of where a child's growth statistics fall within a given population. For example, to determine the percentile of "weight for length" of an infant boy with a birth weight of 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and 21 inches in length, you would:
Select the "Growth Charts for Boys" or "Growth Charts for Girls" link below.
Select the "Set" that best suits your result needs (for most U.S. residents, Set 2).
Select the "Weight for Length" chart.
Locate "8 pounds, 8 ounces" from the "lbs" column at the left of the chart.
Locate "21" on the "inches" row across the bottom of the chart.
Follow the two selected lines to where they intersect, at "50 percentile."
This means that 50 percent of the population is heavier for that length and 50 percent are lighter for that length. This child would be considered "average" in "weight for length."
To proceed, select one of the links below:
Growth Charts for Girls
Growth Charts for Boys