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As the Swedish pop band, ABBA very well sang: "Money, money, money, always sunny, in the rich man's world. All the things I could do, if I had a little money."
It turns out ABBA was bang on point. A new study has discovered that people in the U.S. today are happier if they have more money. It appears that money and happiness are more strongly linked today than in the past.
The study was published in the journal American Psychological Association.
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Money can buy happiness in the U.S.
The new analysis studied over 40,000 adults in the U.S. aged 30 years and more. "My colleague and I found an even deeper relationship between money and happiness," explained Jean Twenge, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at San Diego State University.
Twenge and her colleagues' survey spanned five decades, from 1972 to 2016, and the team was able to note the change in attitude surrounding people and money over this time. Seemingly, today money and happiness are closer related than in the past. So perhaps money can buy happiness after all.
A large part of this higher sense of happiness linked to money comes down to class and education. In the 1970s, regardless of whether or not adults had a university degree, 40% of them ranked themselves as happy. Today, only 29% of non-graduates count themselves as happy, whereas those who do have a degree are still at 40%.
Moreover, happiness has grown over the years depending on how much someone earns.
The study notes that one of the reasons for this change in happiness attitude is due to the larger disparity in income inequality. The rich are richer, and the poor are now poorer.
On top of that, a study back in 2015 stated that the death rate of people without a college degree was growing — something that's been called "deaths of despair." These deaths include suicide and drug overdoses.
The new study has found that generally speaking, big differences in class have a negative impact on society as a whole.
It's an interesting study that highlights the changes in society with regards to money and happiness in the U.S. from the 1970s until recently.