Thursday, March 17, 2011

Being Male and Being Tall Correlates with Happiness

Notice that I said correlates - there is no cause and effect here, only a pattern that taller men are happier than shorter men, and that while there is some similar pattern in women, it's not as consistent as it is men (as the graphs below will show). Interesting.

Taller People Are Happier, Especially if They’re Male

As I wrote recently in an article on the happiest person in America, taller people generally lead better lives than shorter people. How much better? Here are two charts showing the typical levels of well-being in 2010 for men of various heights, and then for women of various heights:

As you can see, there’s a pretty steady relationship between well-being and height for men. The taller men are, generally speaking, the happier they are. (Remember, as always, correlation is not causation.)

On the other hand, the connection between height and happiness is less predictable for women. Well-being levels for the very tallest women are higher than they are for the very shortest women, but well-being levels bounce around quite a lot in between, and actually seem to trend downward beyond a certain height.

I’ll let the sociobiologists among you out there theorize about why.

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