13 February 2006

Money does not buy happiness

Money doesn't buy happiness, and now there's a study that seems to prove it.

Money doesn't buy happiness, and now there's a study that seems to prove it.

Australian researchers found that people in well-off Sydney are among the most miserable in the country, while those in some of the poorest areas are much more satisfied with their lives.

"Only at very, very high levels does money actually have any impact to act as a buffer," said Deakin University researcher Liz Eckerman.

Shown very clearly
"Money doesn't actually buy happiness and that's what was shown very clearly for the nearly 23 000 people we've interviewed so far," she told ABC radio.

The findings, collated since 2001, show that while there are no extremes of well-being in Australia, the happiest areas had a lower population, more people aged 55 or over, more women, more married people and less income inequality.

The survey assessed a person's satisfaction with their standard of living, health, relationships, life achievement, safety, community connection and future security.

Robert Cummins, a professor of psychology at Deakin who compiled the survey's scorecard, put the difference down to the higher cost of housing and high population density in cities.

"People in these rural electorates often have the advantage of additional disposable income since the cost of living, particularly housing, tends to be reduced outside the cities," he said.

Of the 150 national electorates surveyed, one of the nation's poorest, Wide Bay in rural Queensland, was among the happiest. – (Sapa-AFP)

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February 2006



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