Does Money Really Buy Happiness?

While past research has connected money to happiness, researchers from Barcelona and Canada wanted to see if this connection was still true in societies where money does not play a role in daily life.

A survey of almost 3,000 people from Indigenous and local communities, in 19 locations, worldwide, shows that people in these communities were able to live happy lives despite a lack of money.  About 64% of households in the study – only two thirds – had any cash income, at all.

Many populations with very low monetary incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, with scores similar to those in wealthy countries,” lead author Eric Galbraith said.

A farming community in Guatemala had the highest happiness score of the study.  The average value of assets in this community was $3,500 per household.

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