They say that happiness doesn’t depend upon money. Some say that there is no such thing as not enough money. However, it turns out that 25 percent of Russians, or one in every four, would be happy if they received a salary ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 roubles (1,624-3,248 USD 1,206-2,412 Euros 1,026-2,052 UK Pounds) per month. Many Russians polled said, “That’s what one needs for a normal life”. In comparison, “happiness” costs Americans twice as much. According to a poll conducted by Bigness.ru amongst its readers, most Russians think that money is necessary to achieve happiness. About 43 percent are certain that one can’t have happiness without money. One in four respondents (25 percent), on the contrary, is certain that money doesn’t buy happiness. Another 31 percent believe that you have to judge each case “on its own merits”.
One of Russia’s main employment websites, Superjob.ru, conducted a similar poll to find out how much money a Russian would need to feel satisfied with their lives. It showed that 25 percent of those polled would be happy with a salary from 50,000 to 100,000 roubles a month, “as this would suffice to pay for the day-to-day expenses of normal life”. Sixteen percent of the respondents said that they would be very comfortable making from 100,000 to 150,000 roubles (3,248-4,872 USD 2,412-3,618 Euros 2,052-3,078 UK Pounds) per month. “This income would allow me to feel comfortable. However, happiness isn’t about money, nor is it about how much money you have”.
Twelve percent of respondents were more modest in their requirements; they would only need from 30,000 to 50,000 roubles (975-1,624 USD 724-1,206 Euros 616-1,026 UK Pounds) a month to be satisfied. “You could make all the money in the world, but if you ruin your health, even if you make millions, it won’t save you”, they thought. The same number of survey respondents (12 percent) said that they would need 500,000 roubles (16,240 USD 12,060 Euros 10,260 UK Pounds) a month to be completely happy. “It sounds banal, but there is never enough money, and one always wants more”. There was a discernable difference between men and women in this (16 percent and 9 percent, respectively). One in every ten Russians (10 percent) is certain that they would need from 150,000 to 200,000 roubles (4,872-6,496 USD 3,618-4,824 Euros 3,078-4,104 UK Pounds) a month “to make nearly all of their dreams come true”. Six percent said they would need 200,000 to 300,000 roubles (6,496-9,744 USD 4,824-7,236 Euros 4,104-6,156 UK Pounds) a month, “The more, the better”.
Four percent named 300,000 to 500,000 roubles (9,744-16,240 USD 7,236-12,060 Euros 6,156-10,260 UK Pounds) a month as their goal, “but that’s only a dream”. Another 4 percent of those polled said that they would be happy with 30,000 roubles (975 USD 724 Euros 616 UK Pounds) a month. “I don’t need much… the more you get, the more you want”. “The more a person earns, the less they look human”. Women are twice as likely as men are to believe that modest earnings don’t prevent happiness (6 percent vs 3 percent). It’s interesting to note that the respondents who shared this point of view didn’t earn more than 20,000 roubles (650 USD 483 Euros 411 UK Pounds) per month; there were none with this attitude in higher-income brackets. Seven percent of respondents said, “Money can’t give you happiness, but it can give you freedom of choice and action. There’s no specific amount which could give me that”. “There is never enough money, but it doesn’t give you happiness, anyway”. “It doesn’t matter how much money I have, I’m happy, anyway”.
In comparison, an average American needs twice as much to be happy, 75,000 dollars (2.31 million Roubles 55,696 Euros 47,414 UK Pounds) per year. Researchers said that lower-income Americans tend to experience less happiness in their everyday life; according to them, the ability to be happy rises commensurately with income. Interestingly, researchers found that happiness grew only up to the income level of 75,000 dollars per annum. If income grew beyond this point, certainly, it made life easier, and increased an overall sense of satisfaction, but emotional satisfaction with life began to depend on other factors, such as personality differences or incidents that might occur to them. By the way, according to opinion polls conducted by Gallup, the happiest people in the world live in Denmark, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. If we compare this data with a rating of cities with the highest per capita income, it turns out that the idea that “money doesn’t buy happiness” is still fixed in people’s minds.
16 September 2010