Article updated 11/14/23. Major updates in progress – some of this info is out of date until we finish updating. Please note a lot of this data is weak & doubtful. But we are still publishing this info, out of interest. More info on the data and our process here.
Testosterone varies a lot around the world. We found hundreds of studies from all around the world. According to the studies, men who live in countries like Uzbekistan and Nigeria have high testosterone, while the men who live in countries like the USA and Brazil unfortunately have unhealthy low testosterone. (But a few decades ago the low testosterone regions had pretty high testosterone too! We have the data for that as well. Bad diet, bad health, and chemicals in the environment, called endocrine disruptors, are probably what is causing testosterone to fall around the world.)
The Highest Testosterone in the World
Testosterone has been falling since the early 1980’s at least. For this reason, we are only looking at data from 2000 or later here. Around 2012, the region with the highest testosterone we’ve seen is Chita, Russia, where the men at an average age of 34 have testosterone levels of 1022 ng/dl! (source) Now, testosterone declines with age, and studies are done on all different age groups. To make the studies comparable, we’ve come up with a way to calculate what a normal male population of all ages would have as their average testosterone, and we’ve done this to all the studies to make them comparable. So Chita, Russia gets corrected to 905 ng/dl to reflect a population that includes all ages. 905 for the whole population is the number that we’ve found to be the highest on our list. Chita is in southeast Siberia, a little above Mongolia.
The next highest number is from Peshawar, Pakistan. This is the part of Pakistan where the Pashtun people live, close to Afghanistan. At age 18-25 around 2016, men in Peshawar had testosterone of 1090 ng/dl. (source) That age corrects to 893 ng/dl.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Hmong people have 975 ng/dl testosterone at an average age of 37. That corrects to 884 ng/dl. (source)
In Ibadan, Nigeria, men with an average age of nearly 38 have 940 ng/dl testosterone, which age corrects to 858 ng/dl. (source)
These are the top 4 highest testosterone places I’ve seen (from recent times, with good data.) Some of these countries have very different testosterone levels in different parts of them, however. We made this contour plot of testosterone levels, without artificially sticking to country boundaries. You can see that there’s a lot of variation across the world.
The above map is available in full resolution (some 6000 pixels) by clicking here. Details and sources for all the datapoints on the map can be found in our spreadsheet here.
The Highest Testosterone Countries
While much of Siberia has very high testosterone, most Russians live thousands of miles to the west. So we can’t really say that the testosterone in Chita reflects the average testosterone in Russia as a whole, which we calculated (using our available data and a weighted population average) to be 547 ng/dl.
For the following info, we’ve averaged studies together to represent a large piece of a country or we’ve tried to pick areas that are as representative as possible of where much of the population of a country lives.
Here are the Top 5 testosterone levels of countries from which we could find acceptable data, adjusted for age by us when possible:
- Uzbekistan – 773 ng/dl testosterone (Tashkent)
- Cameroon – 731 ng/dl testosterone (Djutitsa)
- Azerbaijan – 694 ng/dl testosterone (Baku)
- Mongolia – 693 ng/dl
- Ethiopia – 671 ng/dl (Addis Ababa)
Testosterone levels in the rest of the world
Here are the average testosterone levels in the countries, age-adjusted.
Testosterone in the world regions
Detailed info on testosterone by country
Below, we show detailed info on testosterone levels in each country for which we have data. The charts contain all the usable, relevant data we have. The detailed data, including raw numbers, locations, dates, notes on how we used the data, and of course links to the sources, can all be found in the master spreadsheet you can download here.
Table of Contents
Testosterone levels in the Anglosphere
In the Balkans
Persian Gulf (The small Gulf states)
The Levant (Israel, Palestine, Jordan)
New Caledonia (island in the South Pacific)
You can also see all the charts all at once in one very large image here if you want to compare. (Be careful when doing visual comparisons because not all these images have the same vertical scale, unfortunately. So make sure to check the scale first.)
Testosterone levels in the Anglosphere
Anglosphere current average: 434.5 ng/dl
Britain: 521 ng/dl (averaged all post 2010 data, after first averaging two separate results from Manchester)
USA: 459 ng/dl (NHANES 2015-2016 data, analyzed by me.) Full, detailed USA article here.
New Zealand: 428 ng/dl (a single datapoint from “University of Otago and from the staff of the Dunedin Public Hospital”)
Australia: 403 ng/dl (averaging recent data)
Canada: 402 ng/dl (a single datapoint from suburban Ontario)
Ireland: 394 ng/dl (a single datapoint from the early 2000’s, and I’m not certain whether it was measured in the morning, which makes a big difference. So testosterone levels could definitely be different than this in the current day)
Testosterone in the Balkans
Balkans current average: 486.5 ng/dl.
Bulgaria: 534 ng/dl (single datapoint from early 2000’s)
Greece: 448 (averaging recent datapoints)
Romania: 394 (a single datapoint)
Serbia: 570 (averaging recent data)
Croatia: 752 in “Zagreb area, including various parts of Western Croatia” in 1987. I don’t know what testosterone currently is in Croatia, however.
Testosterone in the Baltic Region
Baltic average: 367.7 ng/dl.
For whatever reason, testosterone has gone really low in the Baltic. We only have historical data from Estonia, but that shows that testosterone didn’t used to be low here.
Estonia: 369 ng/dl
Latvia: 342 ng/dl
Lithuania: 392 ng/dl
Testosterone in the Caribbean
Average: 500 ng/dl
French West Indies: 562 (data from mid 2000’s only)
Testosterone in the Caucasus
Caucasus average: 655 ng/dl
Azerbaijan: 694 ng/dl in Baku.
Testosterone in Baku may have risen quite a lot since the late 80’s, which is very unusual.
Testosterone in the Karabakh highlands of Azerbaijan is low because high elevation effects testosterone.
Russia in the Caucasus: 616 ng/dl (more info in the Russia section)
Armenia: 556 in 1980. Unknown what it is currently.
Testosterone in Central America
Central America average: 393
Testosterone in Central Asia
Average for Central Asia: 511. But this isn’t a very useful figure. Kyrgyzstan is low because of elevation, and Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have very different levels!
Kazakhstan: 356. I don’t know why Kazakhstan has fallen so low, but they apparently have a big problem with urological defects and such things currently, so that suggests there is some kind of powerful environmental damage going on there. Possibly it could be heavy pesticide exposure or the results of Soviet nuclear testing.
Kyrgyzstan: 405 (these levels are low because of the effects of elevation on testosterone levels)
Uzbekistan: 773 in Tashkent.
Testosterone in Central Europe
Average for Central Europe: 410 ng/dl
Austria: 438 (data from early 2000’s only)
Testosterone in East Asia
Average for East Asia: 494.25
China: 521 (From this study using data from many locations supposed to be representative of all China)
Chinese locations vary in Testosterone
- 593 ng/dl among Uygurs in Xinjiang
- 566 in Fangchenggang
- 507 in Tibet
- 486 in Zunyi
- 443 in Shanghai
- 436 in Fucheng County
Testosterone levels in the eastern half of China versus the western half
Over 90% of people in China live in the eastern half. (source) Testosterone seems to be lower in the eastern half than in the outlying western parts of China, Xinjiang and Tibet.
South Korea: 462
Taiwan: 492 (From a health screening thing with 35 centers which i guess means its representative of all Taiwan, from 2007-2017)
Among the “aboriginal Taiwanese,” however, testosterone is 399 ng/dl in 2012. (source) (Data age adjusted by us, raw data is 395 ng/dl at age 51.34)
Testosterone in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe average: 404.
Testosterone in a lot of Eastern Europe has fallen pretty hard, same as the Baltic area. Effects of Chernobyl? I don’t know.
Russia in Europe 483 (more info under Russia)
Testosterone in the Persian Gulf region
Gulf states average: 399.7
This is the small Gulf states, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Quatar. We categorized Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia under “Middle East” instead.
Kuwait: 379 (data from mid 2000’s only)
Testosterone in the Levant
Average for the Levant: 430
Israel 395 (From a representative population study from 2016-2019 (young age though)
Testosterone in the Middle East
Average for the Middle East: 530
Saudi Arabia 599
Testosterone in Mongolia
Mongolia: 693 ng/dl
Testosterone levels in North Africa
Sudan: 588 ng/dl (averaging recent results)
Algeria: 563 ng/dl currently, which is an average of the most recent data. You can see it’s fallen from 645 ng/dl in Annaba, Algeria in 1976.
Testosterone in Northern Europe
Northern Europe average: 475
Denmark 566 – Interesting as testosterone here appears to be coming back up, which is unusual.
Testosterone levels in Russia
Russia’s overall testosterone is 547 ng/dl. In the part of Russia that is in Europe, testosterone is 483 ng/dl. In the part of Russia that is in Asia, testosterone is 587 ng/dl. The part of Russia that’s in the Caucasus is 616 ng/dl. These numbers are weighted averages to reflect the very different population numbers for each datapoint we are using.
Note that here we refer to Russia east of the Urals as “Russia in Asia” but elsewhere we have refered to Russia east of the Urals as “Siberia,” since that is what most people in the Western world know it as. What we have elsewhere called “Siberia” is actually the Urals federal district, Siberia federal district, and the Russian Far East district combined. However in the text right below we are talking about Russian federal districts, so in this cause we use Siberia only to mean the Siberia federal district.
Testosterone in Siberian District
- Novosibirsk – 537
Testosterone in the Ural District
- Kurgan – 754
- Uchaly – 621
- Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug – 494
Testosterone in the Russian Far East district
- Chita – 905
- Yakutsk – 719
- Khabarovsk – 664
- Vladivostok – 516
- Mirny – 476
Testosterone in the North Caucasus District
- Stavropol – 717
Testosterone in the Southern District
- Rostov – 580
- Republic of Adygea – 363
Testosterone in the Northwestern district
- Murmansk – 593
- Petrozavodsk – 506
- Nelmin-Nos, Nenets Autonomous Okrug – 501
- Nes, Nenets Autonomous Okrug – 470
- Vologda – 454
- Arkhangelsk – 432
- Vologda – 560 (this was before 2008, so it’s not on the contour plot or the Russia map)
Testosterone in the Central district
- Moscow – 482 (the average of four datapoints: 502, 560, 360, 507)
How did I generate the averages?
If you want to check how I generated the averages for Russia using population data, you can check my work in this text file here.
Why are some Russian places low testosterone but others high?
In 1978, young Russians in Moscow had 747 ng/dl testosterone, which is pretty good. But now testosterone in Moscow seems to not be as high. Meanwhile, the vast area of Russia east of the Ural mountains is mostly high testosterone still, as is most of Russia in the Caucasus! I don’t understand what causes the different levels, but this question has been explored by Dr. Larissa Valerianovna Bets. I’ve linked to two of her papers here.
Testosterone in South America
South America averages 398.3 ng/dl
Brazil 375 (average of the most recent data)
We have data from hunter gatherer tribes in Brazil in the 80’s. There’s further discussion of this in our article Do Hunter-Gatherers Have High Testosterone?
Brazil today may have low testosterone due to its extensive use of pesticides. Some of the very low results on the chart are from pesticide-heavy places.
Peru 414 – see note.
Note: Peru is hard because the data just reflects how generationally elevation adapted the people are. Testosterone is greatly effected by elevation. You can get a high number in Lima by sampling people that haven’t lived at altitude for many generations, or you can get a low number by sampling someone who has lived at altitude for many generations. So the numbers I’ve collected here don’t really reflect anything location-specific in a meaningful way. Best I could do for Peru is to do an average of averages. For each city, I get the average for all the data I have from that city. That gives me a number for each city. Then I average the cities. Here’s the calculations:
Lima = (224+387+783+570+513)/5 = 495
Cerro de Pasco = (420+425+465)/3 = 437
Cusco = 558
Huancayo = 360
Puno = 220
(495+437+558+360+220)/5 = 414 ng/dl national average for Peru
Testosterone in South Asia
Average testosterone in South Asia: 477
Testosterone levels in each Indian city
- 649 in Gangtok (before 2008, so it’s not on the contour plot)
- 626 in Gujarat (before 2008, so it’s not on the contour plot)
- 565 in Rohtak
- 552 in Guwahati
- 511 in Hyderabad
- 475 in Bhopal and Pune (unable to place on the contour plot since I don’t have the data separately)
- 450 in Kolkata
- 371 in Kanpur
Testosterone levels in each Pakistani area
- 893 ng/dl in Peshawar
- 709 in Rawalpindi
- 613 in the Dir region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (average of three studies with very similar results)
- 567 in “South Punjab” (this was the region name mentioned in the study)
- 417 in Karachi
- 369 in Jamshoro
- 363 in Lahore
Testosterone levels in Southern Pakistan versus Northern Pakistan
Interestingly, testosterone levels are very high in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, which are both in the northern half of Pakistan. It seems that testosterone may have even risen in this area, as there was a 540 ng/dl testosterone result from Peshawar in 1990.
Unfortunately, in Karachi and Jamshoro, both in the southern part of Pakistan, testosterone levels seem to have dropped. Looking at one city, testosterone has dropped from a good high level of 740 ng/dl in Karachi in 1993, to 417 ng/dl in Karachi in 2010-2011.
Sri Lanka 533
Testosterone in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia: 466 ng/dl average.
Malaysia 464 – Ethnic Malays (averaged 492 and 436)
Hmong farmers in northern Thailand apparently have very high testosterone.
Testosterone in Southern Europe
Testosterone in Subsaharan Africa
DR Congo 668 (averaging two quite different datapoints)
Within the region of Kenya were the Turkana nomads, whose high testosterone levels we discuss in our article on hunter gatherer testosterone.
South Africa 472 (Black)
Zambia – in 1972 in Lusaka, ethnic Africans were 520 ng/dl, ethnic “Asians” were 752 ng/dl (I don’t know who these were, I suspect they were Indians?), and ethnic Europeans were 782 ng/dl. The age of all these people is not known to us.
In a seperate study in Zambia in 1972, a population whose ethnicity was unstated and whose age was 18-34 had testosterone of 660 ng/dl, which we age corrected to 555.
Testosterone levels in Turkey
Turkey’s testosterone is 420 ng/dl.
Testosterone in Western Europe
(Not counting Britain and Ireland, which are under “Anglosphere,” and not counting Northern Europe)
The Netherlands 571 (data mostly from early-mid 2000’s – however the most recent data is actually somewhat higher as you can see)
Testosterone in New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific
New Caledonia: 562 ng/dl (Melanesian), 568 ng/dl (White)
- In Northern Pakistan, secular students are very high, madrassa students aren’t quite as high (still high by modern standards though)
- Wildland firefighters in Montana – allegedly 1200 ng/dl (very high) (Source)
- Russian police – quite high
- Kazakh firefighters – very LOW (there is something wrong in Kazakhstan as noted elsewhere – some kind of endocrine disruption)
- In the late 80’s in the US – 14% of low education & income (“low SES”) men were in the upper 10% of testosterone, while only 6% of high SES men were in the upper 10%. (Source)
Antisocial behavior, Income, Education, and Testosterone
High testosterone produced more “antisocial behavior” in both low SES and high SES men, but this effect was much weaker in high SES men. For example, a low SES man with high testosterone was about twice as likely to engage in “adult delinquency” than a low SES man with normal testosterone. But a high SES man with high testosterone was actually a little bit less likely to engage in “adult delinquency” than a high SES man with normal testosterone. High SES men in general were far less likely to engage in “adult delinquency.”
Excellent quotes from this article to explain that:
“Testosterone is related to a general sensation-seeking tendency… [low SES men] often find the most exciting things to do are illegal, while high SES individuals can do things that are both exciting and socially acceptable – driving fast cars instead of stealing them, arguing instead of fighting, playing college football instead of assaulting.”
Another quote from the article:
“Testosterone in adolescent males has been associated with dominance, leading especially to delinquency when they feel unfairly restricted or prematurely try to engage in activities… usually reserved for older persons” – I would suggest that our culture encourages the treatment of young adult males more like children than nature and the past would suggest is a good idea. School (and current typical jobs) reduce sense of agency – the male rebels against it. If he feels that he succeeds in rebellion, his test stays naturally high, if he feels he has been defeated, that is called “chronic social defeat” and animal studies say that produces unfavorable chemical changes, depression, etc.
Years of education consistently lowers testosterone a bit on average – at least in the first world.
In the late 80’s USA, among young whites:
- 11 years education – ~735 ng/dl.
- 16 years of education – ~665 ng/dl
Among older whites:
- 11 years education – 662 ng/dl.
- 16 years education – 615 ng/dl
Social and Occupational Stresses
90’s USA medical doctor residents (80 hour weeks and low sleep generally) – test is crashed to the 300’s (other workers at the hospital were almost double, at that time)
One study found that ethnic Indians in India had high test, but ethnic Indians in England had low test. (Immigrant stress effect? Effects of the climate? Change in diet? Change in lifestyle?) Also note that ethnicity is not the determining factor for hormone levels.
Mice study: Chronic social defeat during adolescence causes higher stress hormones in later life (lowers test) (source)
Modern high school (and work) would likely be experienced as “chronic social defeat” by a typical male. He’s forced to be there and experiences his own failure to stop that. I’d expect any loss of agency to produce sweeping chemical-behavioral changes. (low agency correlated strongly with depression)
Miscellaneous claims about testosterone – debunking time!
So there’s a lot of claims that fly around about test
Urban vs rural? UNKNOWN. (Aside from South Africa where people living in the rural areas had less cortisol and more testosterone than when they “urbanized” which meant moving into a favela-like place. Unclear how this translates to urban/rural splits in the rest of the world.
Regional variation in the USA? (Claims: the midwest and rockies are higher, the coasts and especially california are low) Results are mixed – the midwest is LOW LOW. Portland for some reason is good, and Florida and Alabama have ok levels. US locations correlate pretty well with pesticides. Hypothesis is that heavy crop areas will have lower test and this checks out so far.
Ethnic variation – very unclear, for any ethnicity you care to name there are regions where they have high test and regions where they have low test.
The claim that certain special locations are higher – Specifically East Euro and Baltic are claimed to be high – this is FALSE – these areas are LOWER. However Siberia and middle east are high, except for the low test small Persian Gulf countries.
The claim that the 3rd world is higher – FALSE – Latin America is mostly very low. And parts of the 1st world are actually OK.
Many of the claims out there are based on saliva tests and on pretty minor increases or decreases. Saliva tests are debatable, and our project didn’t mix data from them into our results, which are based on blood tests.
- special diets will raise test (red meat, high Sat Fat, low carb, low PUFA, raw eggs/cholesterol) – Mixed results.
- special micronutrients will raise test (zinc) – Kind of
- blue collar is higher than white collar – unclear, but more education does correlate with slightly lower testosterone.
- low class higher than middle and upper class – unclear
- primitives are higher than “civilized” – mostly TRUE (exceptions: San, and malnourished)
- test was far higher in the past – actually appears to be true
- ultra high levels were found in the past or in tribes – I was very ready to debunk this but there really are insanely high outliers that aren’t uncommon in “primitive” groups. Maybe 5% of the sample has like 1800+ test in some groups. Levels that would flag a steroid test. There’s more info on this in our article: Testosterone Levels 100 Years Ago
- working out will raise your test – very questionable.
- boot camp will raise your test – mixed.
- combat sports will raise test – maybe psychologically but these athletes can be not high test (TBI’s, excess cardio)
- combat will raise test – minor effect.
- cold exposure raises test – mixed. There’s a tendency for warm weather to raise test. One exception – researchers from India had their test go up quite a bit while spending a year in Antarctica. But there are a lot of confounding factors here. Another study found workers who were in consistently freezing conditions to have low test. However, some of the coldest places on earth (Siberia) have very high test pretty consistently.
- sun/light exposure raises test – mixed
- altitude raises test – for some reason this helps a bit but very high altitude is very bad for test. People transported to about 10k ft had a small to moderate increase in test, however, mountain villagers who live even higher than that in Central Asia have very low test, while their neighbors at lower altitude have higher test. (source)
- test moves with time of year – minor effect, test seems to be just a bit higher in the early fall and a bit lower in the late winter, broadly speaking – an effect of warmth and sun over the months seems possible. More info on that in our article: Does Testosterone vary through the year?
- I want to steer you away from minor stuff like – COLD SHOWERS, raw eggs, working out in a SPECIAL test-raising way!!!
- computer, smartphone lowers test – from psychological effect, and from emf – unknown in humans, but a few studies have found emf lowers test in rodents.
Why is testosterone so low in some places?
Sadly, testosterone appears to be low to the point of being unhealthy in much of the world. The studies suggest that testosterone used to be pretty high all over the world before the 80’s. Testosterone has fallen in these places, while staying high in the other places. More info here, showing the changes in testosterone over time in all the countries and regions where data was available: Testosterone Levels 100 Years Ago
Here’s testosterone levels around 1980 (data was from between 1975 and 1985) – data may be a bit incorrect as of 10/26/23:
We have found that low testosterone correlates with PUFA consumption in the diet (seed oils are a big source of this), and low testosterone also correlates with agricultural chemical use by country.
Low testosterone might be from agricultural chemicals getting into your body
Agricultural chemicals get into the food and water. More info here: Pesticides May Lower Testosterone
You can lower the amount of chemicals you ingest by eating organic food, or food raised by a farmer that you know doesn’t use chemicals. A big source of these chemicals in your body is the water you drink. Agricultural chemicals run off fields and end up in your water supply. A good water filter can remove testosterone-lowering chemicals and make a big difference for you.
Testosterone could be lowered by chemicals and synthetic underwear
There are lots of chemicals and microplastics floating around that are known to be endocrine disruptors – foreign substances that mess with your body’s hormones. Major sources of these chemicals: Plastic food packaging, cosmetics, detergents, and synthetic clothes, like polyester underwear. Hunter-gatherers aren’t exposed to these artificial chemicals, and they usually have very high testosterone, around 900 ng/dl compared to our typical 400 ng/dl. (Source)
Polyester and other synthetic fabric in clothes and furniture is a major source of microplastic absorption into the body, because synthetic fabrics shed plastic dust that we then breathe in. Microplastics are frequently xenoestrogens – foreign substances that cause estrogenic effects in the body, and therefore will typically lower testosterone.
Your underwear likely has synthetic plastic – polyester -in the fabric. It’s better to wear underwear made of natural fabric, like cotton or wool, as some studies show that synthetic underwear could reduce sperm count by a lot. (source below)
A lot of underwear that claims to be 100% cotton or wool is actually a blend of a synthetic fabric, like polyester, with wool or cotton. We can save you the trouble of looking for real wool underwear though – here are some 100% merino wool boxers made by Woolly brand:
And here are 100% cotton boxers from Jockey:
Go ahead and check the label on your underwear – it is likely a blend with polyester, not actually 100% cotton.
As mentioned, some studies done on rats and dogs have found that polyester underwear (yes, worn by animals!) drops sperm count to low levels compared to sperm count in an animal wearing underwear made of natural fabric. (Source) In that study, testosterone wasn’t shown to be effected, but the damage mechanism of polyester to sperm count that was identified in that study (electric disruption of the body) could conceivably come into play for damaging hormone production as well.
Seed oils might lower testosterone
You can avoid seed oils and PUFA by eating a diet where the fat comes from butter, coconut oil, and beef tallow, rather than from canola oil, soybean oil, fast food, and manufactured food. More info here: PUFA Might Lower Testosterone
The data in text form, age adjusted, testosterone levels
|French West Indies||562|
Important note: There are many countries I have no data from, or no usable data from. Very possibly these countries might have higher (or lower) testosterone than countries on this list.