It turns out money can buy happiness — but only to a certain point. And according to new analysis from Doug Short, how much an individual needs to make to maximize their happiness varies wildly depending on where they live.
Short, the vice president of research at Advisor Perspectives, took a 2010 Princeton study by Angus Deaton and the great Daniel Kahneman which found that making anything over $75,000 per year won’t improve the day-to-day happiness of the average American, and adjusted that national “happiness benchmark” for each state to reflect its cost of living.
The results show a wild range of happiness-maximizing salaries: on the high end, the high cost of living in Hawaii means a person will need to make $122,175 each year to achieve peak happiness in the state, whereas reaching the threshold requires a salary of just $65,850 in Mississippi.
To make state-by-state comparisons easier, The Huffington Post took the results and plugged them into a color-coded map:
Here are the exact “happiness benchmarks” for each state, ranked from cheapest to most expensive:
“Happiness” in this case is defined as “the pleasure you derive from day-to-day experiences.” Meanwhile, your “life evaluation” is likely to continue to rise along with your income.