This Just In: Money Makes You Happy—But There's A Limit

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Science Says Money Buys Happiness In These Countries

When it comes to happiness, people stand conflicted on the subject. For some, it's love, because, well, of course. For others, it's success, because who doesn't want to have the title of "Most Successful" when they show up at their high school reunion? Then, for others, it's money, because, duh. Who doesn't think money and happiness go hand-in-hand? Well, the French don't, but we'll get to that shortly.

A new study has found that it's people from wealthier countries who are the happiest. In places like the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Israel, the level of happiness and satisfaction is the highest, thanks to the economy, according to this particular study. In contrast, the saddest people of the group are those living in Tanzania, Kenya, and Egypt, respectively.

But, for whatever reason, two of the wealthiest countries, France and Japan, are just dead-set against cracking a smile. In Japan a measly 43 percent are able to say they're happy in their lives, while just barely half of the French could say the same. I guess this would explain those t-shirts you can find in Paris that read, "I love nothing. I'm Parisien." Grumps. Wine and cheese are supposed to make people happy, people!

However, the research cautioned that there is actually a limit to the amount of happiness that money can buy, citing that although Germany's national income is higher than that of Malaysia, the overall life satisfaction of Germans is a mere 4 percent above Malaysians. But let's be real — it's all about how you view the world as a whole.

The survey of 47,643 people, in 43 countries, ages 18 and older, also found that levels of materialism come into major play, too. A 66-year-old Vietnamese man said that money can't secure happiness, while a businessman from Malaysia told the researchers, "Money can buy lots of happiness for me, because I'm very materialistic." Join the club, dude. But I digress.

As with all studies, this one provides food for thought, but even this study is quick to note that money isn't the only the factor in the happiness of an individual or the overall happiness of a country. Of course a wealthier country is going to be happier than a poorer one, but that probably also has to do with access to clean water and food, medical care, and basic living conditions. Pinpointing happiness solely on money is, perhaps, true for some, but what money allows in regards to humanity, is the most important part of all. But that still doesn't explain why the French are so pissy.