People generally assume that more money yields more happiness. They chase higher salaries and more lucrative jobs on the understanding that, essentially, one can never earn enough.
Scholars Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton have offered a slightly different answer to that question.
A study they published four years ago found that happiness and money are related, but only to a point—an annual income of $75,000.
According to Kahneman and Deaton, any income higher than $75,000 did little to improve everyday life and satisfaction. In other words, people may buy more gadgets, clothing, or jewelry after hitting the magic salary benchmark, but no ne of those things makes daily life materially more pleasant.
Essentially, satisfaction plateaus.
A new study by Doug Short has revisited those conclusions, exploring how the happiness benchmark differs from state to state. The study considered the nationwide average of $75,000 and indexed it to reflect cost of living state-by-state.
Those figures were shockingly disparate. The difference between the lowest and highest happiness salary was $56,325—the cost of a small house, diamond engagement ring, or a year of college.
Missouri boasts the lowest salary that hits the happiness benchmark, which was $65,850. Hawaii was the most costly place to be happy. Its benchmark was $122,175 (boy—it costs a lot to look that tan and relaxed).
Massachusetts was relatively expensive overall. According to the most recent study, it costs $90,975 to be happy here.
Check out the video above for more findings.