£48,500: The Sum That Buys Happiness

09/09/2010 17:28 | Updated 22 May 2015

What would it take to make you happy right now? A better job? A flatter stomach? A more exciting relationship, perhaps? Well how about £48,500? At least that's the sum New Jersey health and wellbeing experts reckon might ease the little stresses and strains of everyday life.

MorgueFile, mconnors

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the New Jersey researchers quizzed 1,000 people about their life satisfaction, emotions, stress and - of course - how much money they earned.

What they found was that having more money doesn't necessarily buy more happiness. But if you have less money it can cause stress and emotional pain. In fact, having less money came out on a par with divorce, ill health and loneliness in terms of the negative effect it has on your emotions.

Needless to say, the survey revealed that the more money you earn, the higher your sense of wellbeing - but only up to the point of $75,000 a year (or just over £48,500 according to today's exchange rate).

If the survey is anything to go by, people are on the whole happy with their lot, with or without the £48,500 annual income (though obviously it would help), with 85% saying they smiled and felt happy every day. On the other hand, almost one in four people also said stress affected them.

So how much would cash make you happy? Or is it definitely not a case of money, in your opinion? Surely happiness can't be measured in terms of pounds or dollars?

Tell us what you think.


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