The foramen magnum is an important landmark of the skull base and is of particular interest for anthropology, anatomy, forensic medicine, and other medical fields. Despite its importance, few osteometric studies of the foramen magnum have been published so far. A total of 110 transverse and 111 sagittal diameters from Central European male and female dry specimens dating from the Pleistocene to modern times were measured, and related to sex, age, stature, ethnicity, and a possible secular trend. Only a moderate positive correlation between the transverse and the sagittal diameter of the foramen magnum was found. Surprisingly, neither sexual dimorphism, individual age-dependency, nor a secular trend was found for either diameter. Furthermore, the relationship between the individual stature and foramen magnum diameters was weak: thus foramen magnum size cannot be used as reliable indicator for stature estimation. Further consideration of possible factors influencing the variability of human foramen magnum size shall be explored in larger and geographically more diverse samples, thus serving forensic, clinical, anatomical, and anthropological interests in this body part. Anat Rec, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.