Design Your Life

Here’s How Much Money You’ll Need To Make To Be Happy In LA, NY, D.C. & Other Major Cities

By Stephanie Ogbogu


Thinking about relocating to Los Angeles, Washington D.C. or New York City? Well, a study conducted by Purdue University and has run the numbers and they’ve revealed just how much you’ll have to make to be happy in 50 of the nation’s biggest cities.

To come up with these figures, the study pinpoints just how much money someone needs to make in order for their level of emotional well-being and overall life satisfaction (life evaluation) to not be affected. This includes their day to day mood as well as the funds needed to meet their goals.

If you’re looking to pack your bags and head to a big city on the West Coast, your cheapest bet may be along the lines of Sacramento. With just a salary of $76,500-$95,625, your emotional well-being will be intact. You’ll also only need to make $133,875 to be happy.

In Los Angeles, however, you’ll need to make $204,855 a year to live happily, $117,060-$146,325 for your emotional well being and a salary of $185,345 for your life evaluation. To live in Long Beach, it’s suggested that one would need a salary of  $188,055 to be happy and a salary of $170,145 for their life evaluation.

Also in California is Oakland, where your emotional well being will cost you around $120,720-$150,900 a year. To be happy you’ll need to make $211,260 annually and your life evaluation will cost a salary of $191,140.

However, none of that compares to living in San Francisco where a salary of $319,935 annually is needed for optimal happiness.

Living in New York packs a hefty price tag of $219,765 to live happily, $125,580-$156,975 for your emotional well being, and $198,835 for your life evaluation.

Thinking about Washington D.C. as your next home? You’ll be happy to know that it’s cheaper than living in most major cities in California or New York. A salary of $182,595 is needed to happily live in D.C. while you’ll need $104,340-$130,425 for your emotional well-being.

Want to see the entire list of cities and income? Check out the list here.

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Stephanie Ogbogu

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