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The relative proportions of the lower extremities and trunk in American Black, non-Hispanic American White, and Mexican American children and youth 2 through 17 years of age are compared. The data for the Blacks and Whites are derived from NHANES II, while those for the Mexican Americans are derived from HHANES. Mean sitting height/stature ratios indicate only small differences in the proportion of lower extremity length to stature in Mexican American and non-Hispanic White children and youth, while Blacks have proportionately longer lower extremities. The same trend is evident when leg length is plotted relative to stature. The shorter lower extremities of Mexican American youth are, to a large extent, a function of their shorter statures. Regression analyses suggest that poverty status is related to length measurements (stature, sitting height, leg length) but not to relative proportions, and that poverty status is a significant factor only during early and middle childhood. There are no associations in adolescence between poverty and any of the anthropometric characteristics studied.