Why does (nearly) everyone want to be taller?
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index daily poll of the US population, taller people live better lives, at least on average. They evaluate their lives more favorably, and they are more likely to report a range of positive emotions such as enjoyment and happiness. They are also less likely to report a range of negative experiences, like sadness, and physical pain, though they are more likely to experience stress and anger, and if they are women, to worry. These findings cannot be attributed to different demographic or ethnic characteristics of taller people, but are almost entirely explained by the positive association between height and both income and education, both of which are positively linked to better lives.
Source: “Life at the top: The benefits of height,” Economics and Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
Height matters so much to people that the majority of both men and women who use online dating sites lie about it (1 in 1.81 (55%) men, 1 in 1.95 (51%) women). Tall men benefit socially—there’s a reason “short, dark, and handsome” never became a cliché. A forthcoming study from Duke University has found that to match the dating success of a man one inch taller, a 5’9″ man would have to make $30,000 a year more… Taller men tend to be higher achievers. Malcolm Gladwell reported in his book “Blink” that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies averaged 6 feet tall, more than 2 inches higher than the national average for American men. This same select set of power brokers would rather be bald than short, according to an unscientific USA Today survey. Only two US Presidents have been below average in height.
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