Happiness and Income


We've all heard it, $75,000 USD per year is what it takes to be happy, above that amount we rapidly hit diminishing returns.   The researchers that determined the 75K value suggest, "Beyond ~$75,000 in the contemporary U.S., however, higher income is neither the road to experienced happiness nor the road to the relief of unhappiness or stress, although higher income does continue to improve individuals' life evaluations". . Unfortunately, I have a sad story to tell.  New research shows that happiness increases in a linear-log relationship with income.  Using data from said study, the below figure shows that as we earn more, our happiness steadily increases.  Whats more, life satisfaction is also strong paired with income.



Life Satisfaction and Income

As was the case with happiness, life satisfaction and income have a similar relationship.  The more money folks make the more satisfied, with 100% of the top earners suggesting 100% life satisfaction.  Not surprisingly, we see that the lowest earning folks are the least satisfied and most dissatisfied. 



The Trend is Common

The same new study, also found the relationship between life satisfaction and income.  The trend is quite clear, the more money a household earns, the more satisfied they are with life (See figure taken from said work below).




The Good News

We can make our own happiness.  In his popular and salient work, Dr. Dan Gilbert shows us that we humans have an innate ability to make our own happiness.  You can view his TED talk below and see if you can improve your happiness.