Money buys even more happiness than it used to

C C Offline

EXCERPTS: Many factors determine happiness, but one has stirred considerable controversy over the years: money. While the old adage says that money can’t buy happiness, several studies have determined that the more your income increases, the happier you are, up until US$75,000 a year. After hitting that threshold, more income doesn’t make a difference. [...] Because the survey data spanned five decades, from 1972 to 2016, we were also able to see if the link between money and happiness changed over the years. ... Today, money and happiness are more strongly related than they were in the past. ... How did this happen?

[...] There are likely many reasons for these trends. For one, income inequality has grown: The rich have gotten richer, and the poor have gotten poorer. Today the average company CEO makes 271 times the salary of a typical worker, up from 30 times more in 1978. While it was once possible to buy a house and support a family with a high school education, that has become increasingly difficult.

In a society with more income inequality, the gulf between the “haves” and the “have nots” is more stark, with fewer belonging to the middle class. That’s partially because the cost of many key needs, such as housing, education and health care, have outpaced inflation, and salaries haven’t kept up even as workers became more productive.

Marriage rates may also explain part of the trend. In the 1970s, marriage rates hardly differed by class, but now those with more income and education are more likely to be married than those with less. Married people are happier on average than unmarried people. When we controlled for marriage rates, the trend toward a growing class divide in happiness lessened – though it still remained, suggesting several factors were at work... (MORE - details)
Magical Realist Offline
There is a certain minimal amount of money that keeps me content--usually just enough to cover my bills and also save up. I am very much not a possession type person, except for my laptop, TV, and car. I have what I want and need and rarely want anything else.

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