The influence of socioeconomic parameters (number of children in the family, birth order of subject, professional status of the father, education of the mother) and background characteristics (birth length, birth weight and age of the mother at birth of the child) of growth in body height in children from 4 to 12 years of age was investigated. The analysis is based on data from a longitudinal growth survey, which started with 207 children (98 males and 109 females) from Jena (Germany) in 1985. Multiple regression analysis was used to estimate the degree of relationship between height and the social or background factors. In this study no differences in growth between children of different social groups were found. Variation in height of girls was mainly affected by the biological factor length at birth of the child.