Ever wonder what the average bra size is for women today? Turns out, the answer is a lot more involved than simply determining the median cup and band sizes worn by women around the world. For example, did you know that several factors, including age, weight and where you live all influence the measurement? We think the stats may surprise you!

Average Cup Size

According to a survey conducted between 1992 and 2013, the average bra size in the U.S. has increased from a 34B to a 34DD, and now just six years later, the average has shot up to a DDD — that’s the largest compared to any of the other countries studied. Part of it could be attributed to American women’s comparatively higher body-mass index, an increase in the number of breast augmentations nationally or a general uptick in body positivity, culturally. However, another important consideration is that over the years, American women have finally realized they’ve been buying the wrong-size bras.

Average Band Size

By getting an education on proper fit before adding to cart (as in getting pre-measured to determine the right band and cup size), the general trend has been toward a sizing increase. In other words, American women’s bodies have been changing, but so has their approach to bra shopping. Also, worth noting, is that bra cups actually have greater volume capacity the higher the band size, meaning that the cup of a 38D bra is a bit larger and roomier than the cup of a 36D bra. This is attributed to a variance known as “sister sizing,” so in order to determine band size average, it would require working backward from the size of the average cup. Bra sizes will fluctuate a bit among bra styles and even from one manufacturer to another, plus every woman’s body is unique. Because there are so many variables to consider, a woman really should try on a size range when bra shopping, including her sister sizes, to determine her best fit.

Breakdowns of Average Bra Size

Average Bra Size by Age

In the space of a woman’s lifetime, she’ll undergo a variety of hormonal changes that directly influence not just the size, but also the shape and volume of her breasts. Survey a woman in her early teens, just beginning to develop, then again during milestone moments such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, and you’ll definitely note some significant changes. By the time she reaches her fifties, an overall increase in breast size will likely be brought on by fluctuations in metabolism and weight, which typically come with age.

Average Bra Size by Country

According to the global study, France, Italy and many Asian countries, where padded and push-up bras tend to be more popular, have a reported average cup size of A. These include Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. Next up are Brazil, Mexico and Russia, which clock in at a B and further west, in places like Australia, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, the average cup size increases to a D. We already know that geographically speaking, Americans — specifically Caucasian women — have the largest average bra size, but again, cup volume fluctuates in relation to band measurements because of sister sizing. This explains why not all DDDs are created equal.

So, what’s the average bra size? Turns out, there really is no one clear answer. After considerations like age, weight and country are taken into account, all we can say with certainty is that there’s no true global standard. Bigger or smaller doesn’t translate into a measurable scale of what’s natural or normal — it simply comes down to what feels best on a woman’s body.