In 2013, UNICEF released a report comparing the well-being of children in 29 of the world’s most advanced nations. The report compiled data on health, safety, education, behavioral factors, living environments, material well-being, and subjective “life satisfaction” surveys from children themselves. The United States landed near the bottom on almost all measures, ranking 26th out of 29 countries; only Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania performed worse.
In a 2009 study of 450,000 Americans, the economists Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman discovered that for Americans happiness seemed to level off at a household income level of $75,000. Earnings beyond that, even far beyond that, didn’t seem to make people much happier. Interestingly, the $75,000 limit had nothing to do with the cost of living; people were just as happy earning $75,000 in expensive cities like New York as they were in much lower-cost cities. One reason for this may be that although the cost of housing is higher in larger cities, the cost of transportation and food is lower, and there is a much larger selection of goods and services. In fact, as the size of a city doubles, the number of things to buy increases by 20 percent, and their cost declines by 4.2 percent.
Read the whole story: The AtlanticMore of our Members in the Media >