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The Price of Happiness in Every Country

They say you can’t buy happiness – but money can help prevent you from being unhappy. In fact, Scientists at Purdue have even put a figure on unhappiness. If you live in the United States,  $105,000 per annum will help to stop you  from becoming unhappy. Anything you earn over that figure will have a negligible effect on your sense of satisfaction.

A reliable, comfortable income salves your worries and just makes life easier. Poverty is stressful and leaves long-term damage. The illusion that wealth is meritocratic deprives low-earners of their self-esteem. This is why the money it takes to make you happy can be counted in the tens-of-thousands, rather than the millions.

Of course, the figure differs depending on where you live. So, Expensivity decided to convert the ‘happiness premium’ for every country in the world, using Purchasing Power ratios sourced from the World Bank. Then we added local cost-of-living to the mix to calculate the different price of happiness from city to city in the US, UK, and key European cities.

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Disclaimer: the best things in life are free – there’s nothing like love, exercise, and creativity to conjure happiness on a budget!

The 10 Countries Where Happiness Is Most and Least Affordable

Expensivity identified nine countries with a higher price of happiness than the US. Life satisfaction is most expensive in Bermuda, due to a cost of living that’s 47% higher than New York City. Of course, you can knock off a few pennies from Bermuda’s $143,933 happiness price tag if you spend enough time on its paradisal beaches.

Happiness is cheapest in the petite South American country of Suriname. And indeed, the Surinamese enjoy greater than average happiness. However, the local happiness premium of $6,799 is still out of reach for those making the average Surinamese income of $5,500.

How the Cost of Happiness Varies from City to City

We took local cost-of-living figures into account to calculate the cost of happiness in key cities in the UK, US, and Europe. Click the tabs to switch from region to region.