Money Can Buy Happiness After All, Study Says

Photo: Jonathan Kitchen (Getty Images)

For years we’ve been told money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s a saying that has been told from generation to generation, and we’ve all been programmed to accept it as a hard, honest truth. Now, according to a recent study, it sounds like it’s all malarkey.

Research published in Nature Human Behaviour suggests certain levels of income have distinct effects on how happy individuals can be. Essentially, if you make a good amount of money, chances are you have a big ol’ smile on your face. But it only goes to a certain extent.

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The study was conducted by researchers at Purdue University who used a Gallup poll that surveyed 1.7 million people. They analyzed characteristics such as life satisfaction and emotional well-being in order to come up with their conclusions. What they found is different levels of income produce various levels of the characteristics.

Research subjects with incomes between $60,000 and $75,000 showed a greater level of emotional well-being. Beyond that, an income of $95,000 reflected greater levels of life satisfaction. It appears that once you start earning above $75,000, your well-being starts taking a dip but you start becoming more satisfied with your life.

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The ranges of income tend to change when focusing on different parts of the world. North America holds the range of $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being, while areas of Europe and Australia have it around $50,000. If you live somewhere like the Middle East, though, your well-being isn’t peaking until you hit a range of $110,000 to $125,000.

All in all, even if you make this much money, there’s no guarantee you’ll be happy. You might have other problems, like, being a complete jerk and no one likes you, which can lead to a whole lot of loneliness and being unhappy. But hey, at least the bank account is stacked, right?


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