A new study by researchers at the University of New York suggests not only that money does not buy happiness, but that it can even lead to higher levels of estrangement and depression. In the study, scientists interviewed almost 90,000 people from a variety of backgrounds and countries around the world. They found, first, that indications of depression were associated with similar reports of life-limiting impacts globally and, second, that national levels of depression generally increased with national wealth. Though the study did not investigate the causes of this correlation, other research in this area suggests and the researchers hypothesize that it is directly related to the breakdown of social support systems in more wealth-oriented nations – where added emphasis on individual achievement, higher income inequality, and lower social cohesiveness are all more prevalent. Overall, the results are consistent with other happiness-related research, notably the growing body of work by Edward Diener and his colleagues. Read about the new research at Wealth and Depression and learn more about the important and often counter-intuitive relationship between wealth, health, and happiness at Wealth and Well-Being and Equality and Our Health.
Photo courtesy of Terence Ong