We might not need as high a salary as previously thought for day-to-day happiness and life satisfaction, according to a new poll from the USA.  The magic number used to be $75,000, but the tipping point for happiness appears to be 33% lower, at $50,000.

Marist Institute for Public Opinion surveyed 1,235 Americans and found significant differences in almost all aspects of happiness between those who earn less than $50,000 and those who earn more—measures of their quality of life, free time, health, spiritual life, feelings of loneliness, expectations about aging, etc.  Researcher Susan McCulloch told LearnVest that the $50,000 mark is when you start to see those significant differences.

This poll is a much smaller study than the 2010 Princeton University one that suggested $75,000 was the magic income number, but it may be that, as LearnVest suggests, somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 is the sweet spot. (Where you live and your cost of living will play a large part too—in New York City or San Francisco, you will likely need a larger salary happiness tipping point.)

For more on this check out The Price of Happness: $50,000? from LearnVest.

Do you think this more recent research is right – what do you think is the figure that brings day-to-day happiness and satisfaction?


Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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