Indeed, the cost of happiness appears to be soaring. The optimum happiness income is now up to $75,000, according to a study just released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That’s an increase of 50% over the $50,000 a 2005 study found.
The survey polled 450,000 Americans and was conducted in 2008 and 2009 by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which included questions on people’s day-to-day happiness and their overall life satisfaction. Happiness got better as income rose but the effect leveled out at $75,000.
We certainly haven’t had a 50% inflation rate over the four years difference in the two studies to account for the huge increase. Perhaps Americans have decided it’s taking a lot more money to buy happiness these days.