Study Shows How Much Money You Need to Buy Happiness

Researchers studied more than 1.7 million people across 164 countries to find out how much money it takes, on average, to buy happiness. It’s more attainable than what you might be thinking.

By Admin on February 16, 2018
(Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Everyone knows the platitude “money can’t buy you happiness.” Researches at Purdue University decided to put that to the test.

The study polled 1.7 million people across 164 countries. The amounts were all recorded in U.S. dollars for the purpose of the study. Interestingly, the researchers found that copious amounts of money didn’t mean an individual would be happier. In fact, they found that the more a person makes, the more unhappy they can become.

Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author of the study, wrote:

“It’s been debated at what point does money no longer change your level of well-being. We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being. Again, this amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families.”

In the study, “life evaluation” refers to “overall assessment of how one is doing.” “Emotion well-being” means “one’s day-to-day emotions, such as feeling happy, excited, or sad and angry.”

There’s some variance in the “happiness number” depending on where people live. The number increases in wealthier areas of the world. Jebb said, “This could be because evaluations tend to be more influenced by the standards by which individuals compare themselves to other people.”

The study also found that once people passed the optimal level of income, they started to become less happy. The researchers hypothesized that this could be because after basic needs are met, people start to unsuccessfully use material things to find happiness.

Bustle uses rapper Cardi B’s words as an example of how more money doesn’t mean more happiness:

“One negative thing is that, even though I’m happy, I feel like I was a little bit happier two or three years ago when I had less money. I had less people who had opinions about my life. I felt like my life was mine. Now I feel like I don’t even own my life. I feel like the world owns me.”

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