We have all heard the saying that “money can’t buy happiness”. However according to a new study from Princeton University, low-income levels are often associated with low emotional well-being and life evaluation, while higher incomes are associated with the opposite. They did find that the effect diminished drastically past annual incomes of $75,000.
The latest study adds a new element to a long-running debate among academics and others on whether money can buy happiness -- the definition of which can be elusive.
"We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness, and that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
They said the effect of income on the emotional dimension of well being "satiate fully at an annual income of around 75,000 dollars."
"More money does not necessarily buy more happiness, but less money is associated with emotional pain. Perhaps 75,000 dollars is a threshold beyond which further increase in income no longer improve individuals' ability to do what matters most to their emotional well-being, such as spending time with people they like, avoiding pain and disease, and enjoying leisure."
The research was based on an analysis of responses to 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a daily survey of US residents conducted by the Gallup Organization in 2008 and 2009.
The level of 75,000 dollars was just above the median income of 71,500 dollars for US households in 2008.