More than one study has tried to determine the financial price of happiness. Some look at wealth. Others look at income.
One well-publicized study last year put the optimal income for happiness at around $75,000. Rising income, it turns out, produces greater happiness until you get to around $75,000. After that, there are diminishing returns, with more income leading to little or no gain in real happiness.
This is a fraught question, of course. “Happiness” itself is not easily defined, and money, as the winners of this week’s Powerball jackpot will tell you, doesn’t always guarantee it. And the financial requirements for happiness usually depend on geography, peer groups and other external factors.
The latest to weigh in on the issue is Skandia International’s Wealth Sentiment Monitor. It found that the global average “happiness income” is around $161,000 for 13 countries surveyed. The United States wasn’t specifically measured.
But there was a wide range of answers depending on the country. Dubai residents need the most to feel wealthy. They said the needed $276,150 to be happy. Singapore came in second place, with $227,553, followed by Hong Kong, with $197,702.
The region with the most modest needs for happiness is Europe. Germans only need $85,781 to be happy, placing them lowest on the list. The French need $114,000, while the British need $133,000.