The perfect income for happiness
How much money does it take to be happy? Beyond $75,000 per year, it doesn't make much of a difference.
This story was originally covered by PRI's The Takeaway. For more, listen to the audio above.
Researchers from Princeton University have a new take on the axiom "money can't buy happiness." They've found that money can't buy happiness beyond $75,000 per year. After that, more money doesn't correlate to more emotional satisfaction or wellbeing.
"This study comes from an absolutely enormous survey," of some 450,000 people, Professor Angus Deaton, who co-authored the study, told PRI's The Takeaway. The researchers measured two kinds of happiness: the every day, emotional wellbeing -- how happy people were yesterday, how much they smile and enjoy life -- and overall life assessment or satisfaction.
The researchers found that more money was associated with more emotional wellbeing, up until people make $75,000 per year. At that point, the happiness plateaued. In other words, people's day-to-day happiness improved as they made more money, until their annual salary reached $75,000. Then it didn't make much of a difference
More money did correlate to a better assessment of overall satisfaction, however, even beyond $75,000 per year, according to the study.
The results could have an effect on the way people are paid. For example, Deaton says that if a person gets a raise from, say, $100,000 per year to $200,000 per year, that huge increase "probably makes your mood pretty good for a day or two, but after a while it'll probably go back to what your mood usually is."
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