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Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Happiness will cost you less in Chicago than in NYC or LA

Written by
Kris Vire

It's cheaper to be happy in Chicago than it is in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle or Boston, a new study suggests.

Researchers engaged by Time magazine, Gallup and personal-health platform Sharecare interviewed 350,000 people in 12 metro areas about their personal happiness, and correlated their findings to income. None too surprisingly, cost of living appears to have an effect on respondents’ day-to-day emotions. The chance of experiencing three positive emotions in a given day rises with income until it hits a plateau—but that plateau varies by region and from city to city.

In Chicago, the happiness peak is achieved at a personal income of $54,000. Compare that to L.A., New York, Philadelphia and Seattle, where you won’t be your happiest self until you make $105,000 a year. Boston and Houston both peak at $75,000.

Chicago is in line with several other large metro areas: Dallas, Miami, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. all clock in at the $54K mark. Only in Atlanta can you buy happiness for less, at $42,000.

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