To be happy in DC, you need an annual salary of $183,000: survey

The White House and the Washington Monument on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. ( Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour )

If you want to know how much money you need to make to be happy living in the District, the simple answer is “a lot.”

A survey from Purdue University and GoBankingRates.com found that you need an annual salary of $182,595 to be happy in D.C. It also found that people need to be making between $104,340 and $130,425 annually for their emotional well-being.

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The study argued that the optimal amount of money it takes to be happy varies worldwide.

“That might be surprising as what we see on TV and what advertisers tell us we need would indicate that there is no ceiling when it comes to how much money is needed for happiness, but we now see there are some thresholds,” said Andrew T. Jebb, a doctoral student and the lead author of the Purdue University study, in a press release.

The research specifically sought to pinpoint the amount where money no longer changed a person’s level of emotional well-being. Emotional well-being was measured according to a person’s day-to-day emotions, including happy, excited, sad and angry. 

The survey also found that in Los Angeles you need to earn $204,855 to be happy, in New York City, you need to earn $219,765, and you need to make a whopping $319,935 annually to be happy in San Francisco.

Nationally, the study says that the ideal salary needed to be happy is roughly $105,000, they say that’s generally enough to make people feel comfortable and happy enough to explore bigger goals. The Purdue researchers determined that, globally, individuals would need an income of $60,000 and $75,000 for emotional well-being.