A broader view of well-being

Relationships and health matter a lot more to happiness than money.

We know it.

Do we care?

There’s the 30 year old Easterlin paradox: that average happiness levels do not increase as countries grow wealthier.

Results clearly show that an increase in the level of social involvements is often worth many tens of thousands a year extra in terms of life satisfaction,” said Dr Nattavudh Powdthavee, from the University of London’s Institute of Education.

  • Friends can make you happier than $169,000.
  • Each year of marriage can lift you more than $100,000.
  • Neighborliness adds $75,000 per year to your well being.

Meeting with friends and relatives at least once or twice a month is worth as much happiness as a pay raise of $114,000.

Comparison of GDP Growth and HappinessThe findings, published in the Journal of Socio-Economics, revealed that, on average, someone earning only $20,000 a year who had face to face time with friends and loved ones every day felt as happy as a person earning $189,000 a year who hardly ever saw their friends and relatives. [story]