Sex, Income and Happiness


A study of 16,000 Americans has revealed individuals that report more frequent sex also report higher happiness levels.  The trend where more sex yields higher happiness is true for both men and women.  Interestingly, both celibacy and no sex appear to have no statistical influence on happiness.

In the first figure below we see regression variables and their effect sizes on a happiness equation.  The simple way to interpret the findings is to understand that a + variable increases happiness and a negative variable decreases happiness.  The magnitude indicates the effect size with larger variable values yielding higher happiness levels.  

A few interesting trends can be seen in the below figure.  Firstly, females that have sex once a month or less experience reductions in happiness, whereas men that experience sex once a month or less realize marginal gains in happiness. Secondly, as sexual frequency increases, both males and females, experience increased happiness.


Positive values reflect a positive influence on individual happiness levels.  Negative values reflect the opposite.


Sex, Income and Happiness: Does a big bank account yield more sex?

The idea that more money yields more sex is a common notion, and according the this work, may be untrue.  The researchers tested the effect of income on the number of sexual partners and sexual frequency and found no statistically significant relationship.  Interestingly, the researchers did find statistical evidence that suggests people with greater than 12 years of education experience greater happiness from sex than those that are less educated. Moreover, folks with fewer than 12 years of education only experienced gains from sex frequency at 4 times weekly.  

Income and Happiness

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).




  • Money does appear to increase happiness.
  • One sexual partner in the previous year yields more happiness than does frequency of sex at the highest level, e.g. 4 times weekly.
  • Money does not buy more sexual partners or more frequent sex.
  • Sex yields greater happiness than money.