The freedom to pursue happiness is an inalienable human right in this country, but what does happiness actually cost to attain? According to researchers at Princeton, who surveyed 450,000 Americans between 2008 and 2009, it's about $75,000.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The study found that people's evaluations of their lives improved steadily with annual income. But the quality of their everyday experiences -- their feelings -- did not improve above an income of $75,000 a year. As income decreased from $75,000, people reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness, as well as stress. The study found that being divorced, being sick and other painful experiences have worse effects on a poor person than on a wealthier one.
The researchers do point out that people earning $75,000 a year would not necessarily be unhappy to receive a raise.
According to the U.S. Census, median household income was $50,303 in 2008.