Researchers at Princeton did a study
that found Americans actually do get happier as they make more money -- but that after they hit $75,000, their happiness plateaus.
(Seems a little suspect to us -- we're pretty sure we could whip through a cool 75K over a long weekend and still have a burning desire for more shoes
-- but hey. They are Princeton economists and we are not.)
So the good folks at the Wall Street Journal
got to thinking, as they are wont to do. In a city like New York or Los
Angeles, $75,000 is a much smaller chunk of happiness than in, say,
certain humbler Midwestern cities priding themselves on cheap rent,
among other things.
They massaged the numbers around using cost-of-living indexes and gave
estimates for how much you have to make in a given city to hit the real
version of that sweet spot. Here in St. Louis, you'd need to pull in
$65,250 each year to top out on happiness. In Kansas City, it's $71,250
And in Chicago, thrills are dearer: it's $84,750 before you happy out.