Tall people really do get paid more

A 12-metre tall Man Engine at Penzance in Cornwall, England. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The old theory that tall people earn higher incomes has some basis, according to the latest research.

Previous research has shown that taller people tend to take a conservative political position, have genes that keep body weight down and do better in sports which require accuracy over distance such as basketball or tennis.

And if you have designs on the chief executive’s office, it helps if you are taller than average.

A Swedish study of 1.3 million men found that men who run large companies are above average height, at 183cms, or taller.

Now local Australian research, prepared by consumer, industry and market research company Roy Morgan, shows that men tend to earn more if they are taller than average.

As of June this year, Roy Morgan data shows that the average height of Australians aged 14 or older is 170cms.

The average height of those who earn $200,000 or more is 176cms.

Those on incomes below $30,000 are under the population average at 168cms.

Among Australian women, the average height of those earning $40,000 to $49,999 is 163cms.

And this creeps up to an average 166cms among those on incomes between $110,000 and $199,999.

But the average height of those on $200,000 or more reverts to the female average of 164cms.

“Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule — there are plenty of average-height (or shorter) men and women with above-average incomes — but it’s striking enough to warrant further investigation,” says Michele Levine, CEO at Roy Morgan Research.

This chart shows a clear trend among men — the taller they are, the better the income:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2015-June 2016, n=14,956.

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