31 Inch Waist Statistics

How it Measures Up for Men & Women

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: April 3, 2023

Waist circumference is a universal measurement for determining clothing size, fitness, and general health. But how do you know what is a good waist size for you?

If you have a 31 inch waist, you may wonder if this is big, small, or average. So I will answer all your waist size questions in this article.

31 Inch Waist

What is a 31 Inch Waist?

A 31-inch waist is a circumference measurement around the abdomen. And you can use this number for everything from buying clothing to assessing your risk for health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

But it’s critical to measure your waist correctly to know if it really is 31 inches around.

How to Measure Your Waist

To check your waist size, you will need a flexible tape measure. First, wrap the tape measure around your waist parallel to the floor just above your hip bone.

Now pull the tape snug but not so tight that it indents into your skin. Also, take the reading at the end of a normal exhale but do not suck in your stomach. The number where the end of the tape intersects is your waist size.

31 Inch Waist Measurement

Is a 31 Inch Waist Normal?

Generally speaking, a 31-inch waist is on the small side. But just how small depends on your gender and to whom you’re comparing yourself. So let’s look at some waist size statistics for women and men.

31 Inch Waist for Women

The average waist size for American women is 35.6 inches. And a 31-inch waist is smaller than about 75% of typical females.

However, it’s important to remember that 3 out of 4 adult women in the US are overweight or obese. So you might not want to compare yourself to the general population.

A survey of women in the US Army, who are generally in good shape, shows that their average waist size is 28.2 inches. And a 31-inch waist is actually larger than 85% of fit women.

Table 1. 31 Inch Waist Size for Women

  Normal Fitness
1st 25.4 23.9
5th 27.8 25.1
10th 28.9 25.7
15th 30.0 26.1
20th 30.7 26.5
25th 31.6 26.8
40th 33.9 27.7
50th 35.6 28.2
60th 37.2 28.9
75th 40.3 30.0
80th 41.5 30.5
85th 42.8 31.1
90th 44.7 31.9
95th 47.6 33.2
99th 53.8 35.8

31 Inch Waist for Men

By the same token, the average waist size for an American man is 38.2 inches. And a 31-inch waist would make you slimmer than 90% of other men.

Again, this data comes from the general population of adults, which is largely overweight. So it’s better to compare yourself to fit men, like those in the military.

The average waist size bumps down to 32.8 inches from a sample of fit men. However, a 31-inch waist is still leaner than 75% of guys in relatively good shape.

Table 2. 31 Inch Waist Size for Men

  Normal Fitness
1st 27.8 27.5
5th 30.0 28.7
10th 31.6 29.5
15th 32.8 30.0
20th 33.9 30.5
25th 34.8 31.0
40th 36.9 32.1
50th 38.2 32.8
60th 39.6 33.6
75th 42.2 35.0
80th 43.4 35.5
85th 44.8 36.2
90th 46.4 37.0
95th 49.5 38.2
99th 56.2 40.5

31 Inch Waist FAQ

Now you know how big a 31-inch waist is for men and women. But you might have more questions about this topic. So here are some quick answers to common queries.

What size is a 31 inch waist?

A 31-inch waist typically corresponds to a US dress size of 10-12. Additionally, this waist circumference should put you in an international size Medium for other women’s clothing.

At the same time, men with a 31-inch waist would likely fall into the Small to Medium size range for most clothing.

What pants size is a 31 inch waist?

A waist size of 31 inches generally corresponds to a pant size of 30-31 for women and 29-30 for men. So your jeans size doesn’t always reflect your actual waist size.

One reason for this is how you wear your pants. For example, women’s pants tend to sit higher on the waist, close to the measurement site. In contrast, men wear their pants lower on their hips, where their waists might be smaller.

In addition, your true waist size may not reflect your pant size due to your body proportions. For instance, you may need to size up if you have thicker thighs or a bigger butt.

31 Inch Waist Woman

Is a 31 inch waist good for a woman?

For women, a 31-inch waist is roughly 5″ smaller than the average female’s. So this would definitely be a good target if you’re trying to improve your overall health and wellness.

However, a 31-inch waist would likely be on the large side among women who exercise regularly. So if your goal is to be in excellent shape, you may need to aim smaller.

In addition, your ideal waist size depends on your body type and height. For instance, a 31-inch waist would be good for a taller woman but not as good for a shorter one.

Is a 31 inch waist good for a man?

For men, a 31-inch waist is about 7 inches smaller than the average male. Even among active guys, a 31” waist is somewhat small. Therefore, it might not be attainable for some men.

Again, whether this waist size is good for you depends on your body type and overall size. To illustrate, a waist size of 31 inches could be normal if you’re an active young man with a small frame. But it may be unrealistic for a bigger, taller guy.

Waist Size and Body Type

Your waist circumference can be affected by your body type. For example, the ectomorph body type has straighter lines and a naturally smaller waist. By comparison, the endomorph body type has more curves and a thicker waist.

As a result, it’s vital to use specific diet and workout strategies to reduce your waist size based on your body type.

Next Step: Take My Free Body Type Quiz

31 Inch Waist Body Type

More Body Measurements

In addition to waist size, you can learn a lot about your health and fitness from other body measurements. So here are some additional articles that I think you’ll find interesting.

Why Wrist Size Matters

Average Neck Size

Are 16 Inch Arms Big?

Average Male Chest Size by Height

Greek God Body Measurements

20-Inch Thighs for Men & Women

If you liked this article, check out some of my other awesome content below. You’ll find helpful tips on nutrition, supplements, and workouts to reach your fitness goals faster.

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