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Broca Index (BI)

The Broca Index is an estimation of ideal body weight using a height measurement only. The Broca Index was developed by Paul Broca, a French surgeon who lived between 1824 and 1880. The Broca index is only a rough estimate and applies to the range of middle body sizes best. The BMI is a more common calculation of ideal body weight using both the height and weight measurements. See also the similar Ponderal Index.

equipment required: stadiometer for measuring height.

procedure: BI uses just a single measurement of height in cm. To get the recommended standard weight, you take away 100 from the height in centimeters. For example, a man 182 cm tall will have a standard weight of 82 kg. For females, the standard weight is 10% less. For example, a woman 182 cm tall will have a standard weight of 73.8 kg (0.9 x 82).

Ideal Weight (kg) = Height in cm - 100

Calculate Your Ideal Weight

cm inches

kg lbs

Male Female

target population: this simple equation is not commonly used today, but is most accurate for those of moderate size.

advantages: a simple calculation from a single standard measurement.

disadvantages: this is a rough approximation, and not accurate for extremes of height.

other comments: Other simple measures of body composition, such as skinfolds measures, would be preferable if available.

references: Mémoires d’anthropologie. Paris, 1871/1877.

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