During lock-down, we have been working with people on well-being. Some have been focused on mental health; others on physical health; and some have been fretting over money.
Let’s take a look at money. Does money buy happiness?
One of the most famous studies on this question was conducted by Nobel laureates Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton. Their research in the United States concluded that the more money people make, the higher they rate their lives. So, if happiness is how people see their lives, then money makes people happier.
But, here is something to chew on, researchers at Purdue University and the University of Virginia found there is a satiation point for income. The number is about 100-thousand US dollars in the United States. The study found that being too rich might make you see your life a little worse.
Worldwide, the researchers concluded that the cap for emotional well being is between 60 to 75-thousand US dollars.
Meantime, on the International Day of Happiness, March 20, the United Nations released its annual World Happiness Report. For the third year in a row, Finland placed at the top of the list as the happiest country in the world. Denmark came in second, followed by Switzerland, which pushed Norway out of the top three this year.
A pandemic may seem like an unusual time to be talking about happiness. However, the editors of the report point out that challenging times can increase happiness.
“The global pandemic poses great risks for some of the main supports for well-being, most especially health and income,” the editors explained, “As revealed by earlier studies of earthquakes, floods, storms, tsunamis and even economic crises, a high trust society quite naturally looks for and finds cooperative ways to work together to repair the damage and rebuild better lives. This has led sometimes to surprising increases in happiness in the wake of what might otherwise seem to be unmitigated disasters.”
The World Happiness Report for the UN looks at the state of global happiness in 156 countries, ranking countries using the Gallup World Poll and six factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption income. The World Happiness Report was originally launched in 2012.