Life at the top: the benefits of height

Econ Hum Biol. 2009 Jul;7(2):133-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2009.06.001. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Body Height* / ethnology
  • Body Height* / genetics
  • Body Height* / physiology
  • Educational Status
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Public Opinion
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*