Money buys happiness says Gallup Poll

Posted by RJ & Makay on October 4, 2010

gallup-world-poll, good-life, happiness, income, wall-street-journal

Money buys happiness says Gallup Poll

According to a study focusing on 450,000 Americans and how they evaluate their happiness, a salary of $75,000 a year is the magic number—after which people's day-to-day happiness no longer improves.

The study, which was conducted by Princeton University economist Angus Deaton and famed psychologist Daniel Kahneman, analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009.

Results suggest that there were two forms of happiness: day-to-day contentment and overall satisfaction with one's place in the world. While a higher income brings little day-to-day contentment, it does boost people's overall satisfaction.

As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.

However, $75,000 in New York doesn't buy as much as it would in, say, South Dakota. Based on cost-of-living index values from, the happiness salary would vary widely across the nation. For example, New Yorkers would have to earn $163,000 a year to achieve the $75,000 happiness level; in Chicago, $84,750. It took the least amount of money to achieve happiness in Fort Smith, Ark., and Pueblo, Colo., where a $62,000 salary buys $75,000 worth of happiness.

That doesn't mean wealthy and ultra-wealthy people are equally happy, but more money does boost people's overall satisfaction all the way up the income ladder.

"Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood...but it is going to make them feel they have a better life," Mr. Deaton told the Associated Press.

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-RJ & Makay

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