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This Is the Salary Needed To Be Happy in Every State

·10 min read
This Is the Salary Needed To Be Happy in Every State

There’s been a long-standing debate on whether money can truly buy happiness. But if it can, how much would it take? It turns out that there is an approximate amount, according to Purdue researchers who conducted a study in 2018 to get a better understanding of how happiness relates to money. The study was done on a global scale, so the number varied worldwide. The researchers also wanted to learn if happiness rises as income level increases and identify the sum where money would no longer affect one’s level of emotional well-being and stability.

Financial stress is a considerable problem among Americans, even for those earning over $100,000 annually. Millennials, in particular, think satisfaction and happiness are directly linked to stability and financial responsibility, according to a Wells Fargo study.

To find out the salary needed to be happy in every state, GOBankingRates analyzed data from the 2018 Purdue University study. The Purdue research team found that individuals would need an income of $60,000-$75,000 for emotional well-being and an income of $95,000 for life evaluation across every continent. The ideal income for life satisfaction in North America is $105,000, which was used as a benchmark for the “salary you need to be happy” category in this particular study. The study is ranked by state from lowest to highest salary needed to be happy.

Each of the salaries is adjusted by cost of living, so the current ranking may not come as a shock. Residents of Southern and Midwestern states may have a better shot at happiness, as they are spending less on annual expenditures than other parts of the country. Meanwhile, many Northeastern states are stacked toward the bottom of the ranking, suggesting it’s particularly difficult to find stability in that region — both emotionally and financially. Check out how much money you need to earn to be happy in your state.

Last updated: Aug. 12, 2020

Mississippi

  • Salary you need to be happy: $89,040

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $80,560

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $50,880-$63,600

Oklahoma

  • Salary you need to be happy: $90,825

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $82,175

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $51,900-$64,875

Arkansas

  • Salary you need to be happy: $91,455

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $82,745

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $52,260-$65,325

Check Out: How These 15 Highly Successful People Stay Happy and Healthy

New Mexico

  • Salary you need to be happy: $92,610

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $83,790

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $52,920-$66,150

Kansas

  • Salary you need to be happy: $92,925

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $84,075

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,100-$66,375

Missouri

  • Salary you need to be happy: $92,925

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $84,075

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,100-$66,375

Tennessee

  • Salary you need to be happy: $93,030

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $84,170

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,160-$66,450

Alabama

  • Salary you need to be happy: $93,660

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $84,740

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,520-$66,900

Georgia

  • Salary you need to be happy: $93,660

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $84,740

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,520-$66,900

Michigan

  • Salary you need to be happy: $94,290

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $85,310

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $53,880-$67,350

Indiana

  • Salary you need to be happy: $95,445

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $86,355

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $54,540-$68,175

West Virginia

  • Salary you need to be happy: $95,445

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $86,355

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $54,540-$68,175

Nebraska

  • Salary you need to be happy: $96,180

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $87,020

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $54,960-$68,700

Iowa

  • Salary you need to be happy: $96,495

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $87,305

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,140-$68,925

Texas

  • Salary you need to be happy: $96,495

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $87,305

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,140-$68,925

Ohio

  • Salary you need to be happy: $97,440

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $88,160

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,680-$69,600

Kentucky

  • Salary you need to be happy: $97,755

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $88,445

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,860-$69,825

Louisiana

  • Salary you need to be happy: $97,755

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $88,445

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,860-$69,825

Idaho

  • Salary you need to be happy: $97,965

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $88,635

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $55,980-$69,975

Illinois

  • Salary you need to be happy: $99,645

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $90,155

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $56,940-$71,175

North Carolina

  • Salary you need to be happy: $99,750

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $90,250

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $57,000-$71,250

Wisconsin

  • Salary you need to be happy: $101,220

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $91,580

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $57,840-$72,300

South Carolina

  • Salary you need to be happy: $101,325

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $91,675

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $57,900-$72,375

Utah

  • Salary you need to be happy: $102,270

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $92,530

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $58,440-$73,050

North Dakota

  • Salary you need to be happy: $102,690

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $92,910

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $58,680-$73,350

Florida

  • Salary you need to be happy: $103,110

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $93,290

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $58,920-$73,650

Arizona

  • Salary you need to be happy: $104,580

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $94,620

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $59,760-$74,700

See: Why Happy People Earn More Money

South Dakota

  • Salary you need to be happy: $105,735

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $95,665

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $60,420-$75,525

Virginia

  • Salary you need to be happy: $106,470

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $96,330

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $60,840-$76,050

Minnesota

  • Salary you need to be happy: $106,575

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $96,425

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $60,900-$76,125

Wyoming

  • Salary you need to be happy: $106,785

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $96,615

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $61,020-$76,275

Pennsylvania

  • Salary you need to be happy: $107,520

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $97,280

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $61,440-$76,800

Colorado

  • Salary you need to be happy: $110,040

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $99,560

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $62,880-$78,600

Montana

  • Salary you need to be happy: $111,615

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $100,985

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $63,780-$79,725

Delaware

  • Salary you need to be happy: $113,295

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $102,505

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $64,740-$80,925

Nevada

  • Salary you need to be happy: $113,820

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $102,980

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $65,040-$81,300

New Hampshire

  • Salary you need to be happy: $113,925

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $103,075

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $65,100-$81,375

Washington

  • Salary you need to be happy: $115,605

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $104,595

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $66,060-$82,575

Vermont

  • Salary you need to be happy: $120,015

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $108,585

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $68,580-$85,725

Maine

  • Salary you need to be happy: $122,430

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $110,770

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $69,960-$87,450

Rhode Island

  • Salary you need to be happy: $124,635

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $112,765

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $71,220-$89,025

New Jersey

  • Salary you need to be happy: $129,885

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $117,515

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $74,220-$92,775

Connecticut

  • Salary you need to be happy: $132,825

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $120,175

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $75,900-$94,875

Maryland

  • Salary you need to be happy: $133,980

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $121,220

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $76,560-$95,700

Alaska

  • Salary you need to be happy: $134,715

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $121,885

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $76,980-$96,225

Massachusetts

  • Salary you need to be happy: $136,605

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $123,595

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $78,060-$97,575

Oregon

  • Salary you need to be happy: $140,700

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $127,300

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $80,400-$100,500

New York

  • Salary you need to be happy: $144,165

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $130,435

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $82,380-$102,975

California

  • Salary you need to be happy: $144,585

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $130,815

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $82,620-$103,275

Hawaii

  • Salary you need to be happy: $201,390

  • Salary you need for life evaluation: $182,210

  • Salary you need for emotional well-being: $115,080-$143,850

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cost-of-living-adjusted minimum salary needed to be “happy” based on various income satiation levels, identified by Purdue University researchers. Global income satiation levels were defined as: $95,000 for “life evaluation” and $60,000-$75,000 for “emotional well-being.” In North America, the income satiation level is $105,000 for “life evaluation,” according to Purdue. To get a state-by-state breakdown, we factored in each city’s cost-of-living index, sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center: Composite Cost of Living Index 2019. All data was compiled on and is up to date as of Feb. 11, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: This Is the Salary Needed To Be Happy in Every State