Charted: Money Can Buy Happiness After All
- Previous research has indicated that money stops buying happiness after $75,000/year
- However, new research finds a strong correlation between income and happiness, trending upwards even after $80,000/year
In One Chart: Money Can Buy Happiness After All
What’s the relationship between money and happiness? Previous studies have indicated that, while money can in fact buy happiness, it plateaus at approximately $75,000/year.
However, new research suggests otherwise.
Using over a million real-time reports from a large U.S. sample group, a recent study found that happiness increases linearly with reported income (logarithmic), and continues to rise beyond the $80,000/year mark.
Below, we’ll provide more details on the research methodology, while touching on a few possible reasons why higher incomes may improve people’s happiness levels.
How is Happiness Measured?
Past research on happiness relative to income has relied on retrospective data, which leaves room for human memory errors. In contrast, this new study uses real-time, logged data from a mood tracking app, allowing for a more accurate representation of respondents’ experienced well-being.
Data was also collected by random prompts over a period of time, with dozens of entries logged for each single respondent. This provides a more well-rounded representation of a person’s overall well-being.
Two forms of well-being were measured in this study:
- Experienced well-being
A person’s mood and feeling throughout daily life.
- Evaluative well-being:
Someone’s perception of their life upon reflection.
Both forms of well-being increased with higher incomes, but evaluative well-being showed a more drastic split between the lower and higher income groups.
The Results (Measured in Standard Deviations from Mean)
|Annual Income||Well-Being (Experienced)||Well-Being (Evaluative)|
Why Does Money Buy Happiness?
The report warns that any theories behind why happiness increases with income are purely speculative. However, it does list a few possibilities:
- Increased comfort
As someone earns more, they may have the ability to purchase things that reduce suffering. This is particularly true when comparing low to moderate income groups—larger incomes below $80,000/year still showed a strong association with reduced negative feelings.
- More control
Control seems to be tied to respondents’ happiness levels. In fact, having a sense of control accounted for 74% of the association between income and well-being.
- Money matters
Not all respondents cared about money. But for those who did, it had a significant impact on their perceived well-being. In general, lower income earners were happier if they didn’t value money, while higher income earners were happier if they thought money mattered.
Whatever the cause may be, one thing is clear—Biggie Smalls was wrong. Looks like more money doesn’t necessarily mean more problems.
»Like this? Then you might enjoy this article, Which Countries are the Most (and Least) Happy?
Where does this data come from?
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Details: Participants were 33,391 employed adults living in the United States; median age was 33; median household income was $85,000/y (25th percentile = $45,000; 75th percentile = $137,500; mean = $106,548; SD = $95,393); 36% were male; and 37% were married
The 10 Longest Range EVs for 2023
This infographic lists 10 of the longest range EVs currently for sale in the U.S. in 2023. The Lucid Air takes first place at 516 miles.
- EV models with over 300 miles (480 km) of range are becoming more common in the United States
- The Lucid Air (Grand Touring trim) has the highest EPA range at 516 miles (830 km)
The 10 Longest Range EVs for 2023
Range anxiety is frequently cited as one of the biggest turnoffs of electric vehicles (EVs).
Even as recent as 2021, the average range of an EV was just 217 miles (349 km), falling significantly short from the average gas car’s range of 413 miles (665 km). Thankfully, as this infographic shows, EVs with over 300 miles of range are becoming more common.
Below are the top 10 EVs for 2023, ranked by their EPA combined driving range. For further context, we’ve also included price. These values are for the specific trim that achieves the stated range. In some cases, more expensive trims are available but have a lower range (e.g. Tesla Plaid).
|Model||EPA Combined Driving Range||Price*|
|Lucid Air||516 mi (830 km)||$138,000|
|Tesla Model S||405 mi (652 km)||$84,990|
|Hyundai Ioniq 6||361 mi (581 km)||$45,500|
|Tesla Model 3||358 mi (576 km)||$55,990|
|Mercedes-Benz EQS||350 mi (563 km)||$104,400|
|Tesla Model X||348 mi (560 km)||$94,990|
|Tesla Model Y||330 mi (531 km)||$52,990|
|GMC Hummer EV Pickup||329 mi (529 km)||$110,295|
|Rivian R1T||328 mi (528 km)||$74,800|
|BMW iX||324 mi (521 km)||$87,100|
*Most recent prices available as of April 2023
Note that the EV market is rapidly evolving, and the data in this table has a limited shelf life. For example, Rivian is releasing a battery option dubbed the “Max pack” which promises up to 400 miles, but is not yet EPA rated.
Where Does This Data Come From?
Source: Car and Driver (range), manufacturer websites (price)
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