Money doesn't buy happiness, study shows

Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 10:48:50-04

Money makes little difference in a person’s overall happiness, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientific journal’s study of more than 450,000 U.S. residents shows “high income improves evaluation of life,” and that money does aid in an increase of happiness up to $75,000, but after that, it doesn't much matter. The study also indicates low income increases emotional pain and says it is associated with “misfortunes such as divorce, ill health and being alone.”

Emotional well-being “refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience,” the study says. That includes the “frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, fascination, anxiety, sadness, anger and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant.”

In an annual Gallup-Healthways poll, which measures well-being around the globe, “there was a 10-percentage-point gap globally between the highest and lowest income brackets.”

Personal finance experts at Wallet Hub identified which states are the happiest, considering emotional health, income levels, sports participation rates and other indicators.

It found the 10 happiest states to be:

10. Idaho

9. South Dakota

8. Hawaii

7. Iowa

6. Wyoming

5. Nebraska

4. Colorado

3. North Dakota

2. Minnesota

1. Utah

The 10 least happiest on Wallet Hub’s list:

51. West Virginia

50. Alabama

49. Mississippi

48. Arkansas

47. Kentucky

46. Tennessee

45. Rhode Island

44. Ohio

43. Michigan

42. Indiana

Go here for a full list and to see well-being and work ranks.