Money can buy almost anything. But, can it buy happiness as well? If yes, how many crores will it take to become really happy?
While there may not be exact answers to the above queries, a recent study in the United States claims that money does buy happiness. It increases steadily with a rise in income and even accelerates when the salary goes up above $1,00,000 (approx Rs 82 lakh). But this is subject to the condition that the person enjoys a certain baseline level of happiness, to begin with.
The research, which included a survey of 33,391 adults aged between 18 and 65 in the United States, concluded that happiness continued to rise even in the high range of income for a majority of the respondents.
Also Read: How much money is ‘ideal’ for retiring with the same lifestyle? Survey finds
The researchers observed that the correlation between money and happiness can be observed up to $500,000 (approx Rs 4.1 crore). However, they didn’t have conclusive data beyond the $500,000 level.
The study by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Matthew Killingsworth was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on March 1, 2023.
However, there was an unhappy minority of about 20% of participants for whom happiness decreased with rising income up to a threshold.
Some of the reasons, cited as examples in the study, behind the unhappiness of 20% of participants, were negative “miseries” such as heartbreak, bereavement or clinical depression. The study claimed that their “suffering” may decrease with the rise in income up to $100,000 but very little beyond that.
Also Read: What monthly salary do you need to become more desirable for marriage? Interesting data here
The new research has contradicted a famous 2010 paper in which psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton claimed that happiness goes along with the rise in income but it starts to “flatten” in the salary level between $60,000 (approx Rs 49.2 lakh) and $90,000 (approx Rs 73.8 lakh).
The results of the above-mentioned study may be valid in the US but may not be true in India where income levels are generally low and people usually find other means to remain happy and contended even in the absence of desired income.