It pays to stand tall

My brother is tall. Apparently, if you are tall, it can be hard to find things that fit like clothing or shoes. If you are quite tall, you might even need to think twice about the kind of car you drive and the style of furniture you buy. Plus, being tall might limit the amount of time you can comfortably sit on a bus, airplane, or other sardine-like mode of transportation. With all this in mind, I planned to write about the costs associated with being tall. Until I learned that it pays to be tall.

Did you know that tall people earn considerably more money and respect than those who are height-challenged? According to a University of Florida study, each inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay. So someone who is 7 inches taller – say 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches – would be expected to earn $5,525 more annually. From the press release:

"If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we're talking about literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage that a tall person enjoys."

In my opinion, the higher pay and respect tall Americans receive is well worth any challenges they might face while pant-shopping. There is even a social organization exclusively for tall adults.

In case you are wondering, the average height of Americans today is about 5 feet 10 inches for men and about 5 feet 5 inches for women. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.