How Much Money You Need to Be Happy in 33 States
This is how much money would make Americans feel satisfied with life.
How much does happiness cost? It depends on where you live. According to a recent analysis by money-exchange service S Money, a salary of $105,000 is enough to make the average U.S. citizen happy these days. But in some places, that won't even come close. The researchers looked at a 2018 Purdue University study that evaluated how much money would make people feel satisfied with life. Here's what they found happiness costs in cities within 33 states, from the least expensive to the most.
The survey's cheapest city for happiness is in Tennessee: You only need to make $88,032 a year to be happy in Knoxville. But other cities in the state were a bit more expensive. The happiness threshold in Memphis is $94,413, while it's $107,030 in Chattanooga and $118,778 in Nashville.
Cincinnati requires the second-least amount to be happy: $93,398, while it takes $105,870 in Columbus and $112,106 in Cleveland.
The researchers found it takes $95,428 a year to be happy in Salt Lake City.
You need to earn $96,443 to be happy in Louisville, the survey said.
According to the survey, a salary of $98,764 will buy you happiness in Albuquerque.
Achieving happiness is relatively cheap in Missouri: You need to earn $98,329 in St. Louis and $98,909 in Kansas City.
It takes $99,054 to be happy in Tucson and $107,320 in Phoenix.
The happiness threshold is a salary of $101,809 in Boise, the researchers found.
The magic number in Oklahoma City is $102,535 a year.
The Dairy State is one of the ten cheapest states for finding happiness, according to the survey: You need to earn $103,405 a year in Milwaukee and $104,275 in Madison.
The stakes aren't terribly high for happiness in Las Vegas; you just need to earn $105,435 a year. Reno's price tag is just slightly less at $105,290.
The price for happiness in Atlanta? An annual salary of $107,030.
The financial threshold for happiness in Detroit is $107,320.
You need to earn $108,626 a year to be happy in Minneapolis.
In Birmingham, happiness requires an annual salary of $108,771.
The happiness number in Indianapolis is $110,946.
In Chicago, the average person can find happiness by making $114,572 a year.
Happiness is pricier in Pittsburgh ($112,831) than in Philadelphia ($115,007).
Your ticket to happiness in North Carolina will cost $116,167 a year in Raleigh and $112,541 in Charlotte.
In New Orleans, happiness amounts to earnings of $116,747 a year.
In Portland, happiness doesn't come cheap: Annual earnings of $117,327 are required, the researchers found.
Happiness will cost you $118,488 in Denver and $104,565 in Colorado Springs.
The researchers found it takes $111,816 to be happy in Dallas, but other areas of Texas require less: $106,160 in Austin, $101,374 in Houston, and $98,039 in San Antonio.
The price for happiness in Omaha: An annual salary of $110,076.
You need to earn $110,801 to be happy in Baltimore.
Florida offers a range of income-related happiness levels: Although at $118,778, Miami is the seventh-most expensive city in the nation, and Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando aren't far behind at $110,656, $105,725 and $103,550, respectively, you can find happiness in Jacksonville for $101,374, about the same price as Boise, Idaho.
Happiness in the nation's capital comes with a fairly stiff price: $121,533 a year.
In Boston, happiness costs $122,693 annually.
Alaska's high cost of living pushes its price for happiness up to $127,624 a year.
You need to earn $134,731 annually to be happy in Seattle and $105,435 in Spokane.
You need $145,028 to be happy in New York City, but upstate is no bargain: it takes $111,816 in Buffalo.
Hawaii has consistently landed at the top of studies on the cost of living, and it's the same here: At $148,943, happiness in Honolulu is the second costliest in the nation.
California is home to the country's most expensive city for happiness—it takes $162,721 a year in Santa Barbara. At $144,448, San Francisco isn't far behind. The other Golden State cities covered in the survey:
San Jose: $120,663
San Diego: $120,228
Los Angeles: $114,137