Chandra Bahadur Dangi, 72-year-old Nepalese man, was officially declared as the world's shortest man, Guinness World Records announced Sunday.

A team of Guinness World Records officials and a doctor measured Dangi to confirm his height. He is 21.5 inches (54.6 centimeters) tall.

Dangi is merely 5.3 centimeters shorter than the 18-year-old Junrey Balawing from the Philippines, who was declared the shortest living man on June 12, 2011 with height 23.5 inches (59.93 centimeters).

Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday from London visited Kathmandu on the request of Dangi to perform an official measurement at the CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center in Lainchaur.

Dangi was measured three times in 24 hours in accordance with Guinness World Records Guidelines.

After the confirmation, Glenday presented Dangi with two certificates, one for being the world's shortest man alive and other for the world's shortest man recorded in Guinness's 57-year history.

I'm continually amazed that this record keeps getting broken. Just when you think it's impossible for the record to get any smaller, Mr Chandra comes along and astonishes us all by being the shortest person ever measured. What I find equally remarkable is his age - if he really is 72, he is by far the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man record in Guinness World Record's 57-year history, Glenday said.

Our job is to measure and record what happens in the world as a document for history. Mr Chandra has probably encountered difficulties with his size but hopefully this new title will open up a whole world of opportunities.

Dangi, who weights 14.5 kg, is the seventh sibling of a family of six brothers and two sisters, and has spent the entire life in the remote Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi in Dang district, some 540 kilometers southwest west of Kathmandu.

Dangi gained attention when a forest contractor met him and informed local media about his height.

I'm very happy that I'm being recognized by Guinness World Records and that my name will be written in book. It's a big thing for my family, my village and my country. I am very happy, Dangi said.