This is how much money you need to make to be happy living in Virginia, survey finds

Can money buy you happiness? According to a new survey from Purdue University and the answer is yes, depending on how much you make and where you live.

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For Virginians, the simple answer to how much money is needed to be living happily is "a lot." 

The survey found that you need a minimum annual salary of $106,890 to be happy in Virginia.

"Virginia boasts the sixth-lowest violent crime rate in the country, and the relative peace of mind that can come with a firm sense of safety is hard to put a price on. However, in terms of the cost of living alone, the state is among the costlier of the rest of the country," GOBankingRates stated.

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"Globally, we find that satiation occurs at $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being," said the study’s authors in the journal. The study also noted that the ideal income for "life satisfaction" in North America is $105,000.

"It’s important to keep in mind, though, that ‘happiness’ is subjective. The cost to live comfortably can vary from person to person," GOBankingRates noted.

Which states require a higher salary than Virginia in order to be happy? Virginia was ranked 20 on the list with Pennsylvania, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, Washington, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Alaska, Oregon, Massachusetts, California, New York and Hawaii (ranked in order) coming in with a higher cost to comfortably live. The survey found that Hawaii required the most money to be happy with a minimum salary of $202,965 needed.

Among the states with the lowest salary needed to be happy were Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama, though with the rising costs due to inflation, every state requires over $87,000 annual salary in order to live happily.


GOBankingRates said it determined the cost-of-living-adjusted minimum salary needed to be happy based on income satiation levels identified by Purdue University researchers. It also factored in each city’s cost of living index, unemployment rate, as well as property and violent crime rates.