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Study: Happiness in Hawaii costs $120,000

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 11:16 a.m. HST, Jul 31, 2014

Hawaii residents need a household income of $122,175 in order to be happy, the largest dollar amount in the nation, according to a new study by

Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist, and Angus Deaton, an economist, analyzed a 2009 Gallup report on Americans' perceptions of "well being."

Their controversial finding determined that nationwide a household income of $75,000 is sufficient, and that any income over and above that merely goes to buying "stuff," as opposed to "the day-to-day experiences that make life pleasant or unpleasant." 

A state-by-state review however, shows wide, cost-of-living-based swings in the average household income required for said well-being, or happiness.

The Nerdwallet study ranked Mississippi the state in which happiness is the most affordable, at an annual income of $65,850.

The top three on the cost-of-happiness ranking are New York, at $99,150; the District of Columbia, at $104,700, and Hawaii at $122,175.

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