Q:

Are rich people happier than poor people?

A:

Although studies show that people from rich countries are generally happier than those from poor countries, the same studies indicate that poor people lead more meaningful lives. People from rich countries have more things, which makes them happy, but poor people tend to have stronger relationships.

The Easterlin Paradox proposes that while people in rich countries are not necessarily happier than people in poor countries, a rich person within a country is usually happier than a poor person from the same country.

A Gallup poll found that only one-third of people making less than $35,000 a year are happy, but all of the people making more than $500,000 a year say they are very happy.

Some studies show that the level of happiness is never satiated; a person making $1 million a year is not as happy as a person making $2 million a year.

A study by the Brookings Institution supports the theory that a person cannot be rich enough. Wealth equates to freedom and privilege and gives those who have money the ability to live and work in a number of different places in the world. Wealth also relieves the stress of meeting basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, which adds to the happiness quotient.

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