You know that old saying that money can’t buy happiness? Well, it looks like it might not be as true as we’ve been led to believe. A new study published in the scientific journal, “Emotion.” finds that over the last few decades, financial success has become increasingly linked to happiness.
The research based its findings on data from the General Social Survey, which is one of the longest-running nationally representative surveys of U.S. adults, gathering information from over 44-thousand adult participants between 1972 and 2016. And it reveals that among adults 30 and above, “the positive correlation between socioeconomic status” - which includes income, education and occupational prestige - “and happiness grew stronger between the 1970s and 2010s.”
Researchers explain that over this time period, the “happiness” of high socioeconomic status white adults was “fairly stable,” but on the flip side, the happiness of white adults on the low side steadily went down. For black adults, the happiness of those on the low side was “fairly stable,” but the happiness of folks with high socioeconomic status has “increased.” Basically, happiness is more tied to how much we earn now than it was in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Lead study author Jean Twinge explains, “So money buys happiness more now than in the past.”