Popular kids earn more money as adults

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Popular kids earn more money as adults

Kids who were popular in high school earn more money as adults, a new study has found.

US researchers from the National Bureau of Economic research found that teenagers from "cool groups" earned 10 percent more than "social rejects" and two percent more than classmates with the average number of friends.

Related: Does Facebook cause eating disorders?

The study used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which surveyed more than 10,000 people who graduated from a Wisconsin high school in 1957.

It found that students who were popular earned more 35 years later than their less-social counterparts, and significantly more than "loners".

Researchers said the extra income earned by popular students was as much as half of what would be earned by an extra year of tertiary study, proving the importance of good social skills.

A recent New Zealand study backed up this finding, concluding that popularity in high school is linked to happiness later in life.

The survey of 1000 adults found that "adolescent social connectedness" was more important than academic achievement when it came to predicting "adult wellbeing".

Related: One in five kids overweight when they start school

Being unpopular at school is also linked to poor health. Researchers from Sweden's Umea University found that children with fewer friends were more likely to suffer from obesity and high blood pressure in their 40s.

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