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.
Burkhard Bilger’s excellent 2004 New Yorker article persuasively argued that the growing stature gap between Americans and northern Europeans is largely explained by the United States’ high level of inequality and child poverty. Consider it another reason to belief that using a surtax on high earners to finance generous health care for the poor and lower-middle class would be welfare enhancing.