When you think about where to watch sesame street, a number of options pop up. The popular educational show made its debut in 1969, during a time of civil-rights activism and making socioeconomic inequality a priority.
Despite being over 50 years old, Sesame Street is still going strong. Versions of the show are broadcast in countries from South Africa to Germany to India (paywall). And Sesame Workshop—the non-profit behind the show—is active in refugee camps, using their programming to help kids heal and recover from trauma. Sesame Street is also one of the most scientifically studied shows in history. The team behind the show has a lot of data at their fingertips, and they’ve spent decades fine-tuning every episode to make sure it’s effective.
That’s why it’s not surprising that a study recently published in the American Economic Journal quantified just how much of an impact the show has had on children. According to the research, kids who had access to Sesame Street were 1.5 to 2 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in school at the right level, and their college attendance, employment, wages, and poverty status improved as well.
Of course, the impact of the show goes beyond that one little study. Parents and kids alike love the characters—human and muppets alike—and have a deep trust for them. The fact that my 20-month-old daughter bawled when her Sesame Street show was turned off should tell you something about the power of this iconic show.