How much does your height influence your salary?

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The influence of appearance on business success remains a fascinating subject for me, especially when it comes to salary. Today I am taking a closer look at a study focused on height. How much does your height influence your salary?

How much does your height influence your salary?
Photo: Pixabay

How much does your height influence your salary?

Researchers from the University of Sydney and the Australian National University studied this topic. They studied the population data of a nationally representative sample of 20,000 Australians in the age group 25 to 54. Within this group, they took factors such as age, education, and profession into account. They made a comparison between height and salary for each person. It showed a clear link between these two factors. Men that are 5 centimeters taller than the average, earn 1.5% more. The average height being 178 centimeters. Therefore, an increase in salary is seen in men of 183 centimeters, or taller.

The percentage may seem small, but when you do the math, the difference in a yearly salary is substantial. In this sample group, the average income for men was 63.200 dollars per year. When earning an extra 1.5 percent per year, this works out at an additional 948 dollars. For men at least 10 centimeters taller than the average, the percentage jumps to 3%. So men that are 188 centimeters or taller, earn an average of 1896 dollars more annually than men who are an average height of 178 centimeters.

For women it is different. Being 10 centimeters taller than the average is when women see a 2% increase in salary. Unfortunately, the study does not give us more details such as the actual differences in salary, and the average height they based this on. Probably, as indicated by the researchers, the percentage difference of this statistic is not very interesting.


In addition to height, the study also looked at how weight influences salary. It showed that overweight men earn on average 5% more, while underweight men earn 18% less. According to this study, women’s weight does not affect their salary.

The results are in part consistent with research conducted by their British and American colleagues. They found that underweight men earn on average 8000 dollars less per year than those wearing larger clothing sizes. According to the Australian survey, it is 18%, so 11,376 dollars.

The British and American researchers concluded that women’s weight does have an impact on their salary. Slimmer women earn on average 16.000 dollars more a year than fuller figured ladies. The Australian survey showed no difference in earnings.


The Australian researchers think they know why taller people earn more. They concluded that because of their height, taller people need to put less effort into making an impression.

Although it sounds unfair and appearance should not affect salary, I think it makes sense. We are visual creatures and are generally impressed by big things. Whether it is houses, cars, or people. Size matters. So gentlemen, ever considered donning a pair of heels? Crazy as it sounds it could put an extra 1896 dollars in your pocket.



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