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After $66,750 salary, happinness index goes flat in Houston

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by da1, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. da1

    da1 Member

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    A new study has gained a lot of attention that shows after a worker earns $75,000 the measurable effect on happiness of pay increases stops, but that figure may vary widely from city to city.

    As our colleague Robert Frank notes on the Wealth Report, $75,000 in New York doesn’t buy as much as the same amount in, say, South Dakota. That got us thinking, if $75,000 is the national average salary level for happiness, what is the variation from city to city?

    The list below is an attempt to answer the question, using some back-of-the-envelope math. Based on cost-of-living index values from Kiplinger.com, we calculated what $75,000 would translate into in some of the nation’s largest cities. One note: the number on the Kiplinger chart for New York City was an extreme outlier, so we used a value from a separate Kiplinger report.

    No matter which New York figure is used, the city clocks in with the highest level to achieve satisfaction — over $163,000 by our calculation or $300,000 using the more extreme figure. It took the least amount of money to achieve happiness in Fort Smith, Ark., and Pueblo, Colo., at just over $62,000. While New Yorkers might need more to pay their bills, you might argue that they get paid more on average than the rest of the nation. It’s true that New Yorkers on average earn more than most of the U.S., but workers in the city don’t necessarily command the highest salaries in the country.

    Happiness Level, by Metro Area

    Metro Area State Cost of Living Index Happiness Threshold
    Abilene TX 86 $64,500
    Akron OH 96 $72,000
    Albany GA 88 $66,000
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY 100 $75,000
    Albuquerque NM 97 $72,750
    Alexandria LA 100 $75,000
    Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ 100 $75,000
    Altoona PA 100 $75,000
    Amarillo TX 89 $66,750
    Ames IA 97 $72,750
    Anchorage AK 125 $93,750
    Anderson IN 100 $75,000
    Anderson SC 89 $66,750
    Ann Arbor MI 100 $75,000
    Anniston-Oxford AL 92 $69,000
    Appleton WI 97 $72,750
    Asheville NC 101 $75,750
    Athens-Clarke County GA 100 $75,000
    Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta GA 94 $70,500
    Atlantic City NJ 100 $75,000
    Auburn-Opelika AL 98 $73,500
    Augusta-Richmond County GA-SC 100 $75,000
    Austin-Round Rock TX 94 $70,500
    Bakersfield CA 105 $78,750
    Baltimore-Towson MD 121 $90,750
    Bangor ME 129 $96,750
    Barnstable Town MA 129 $96,750
    Baton Rouge LA 100 $75,000
    Battle Creek MI 100 $75,000
    Bay City MI 100 $75,000
    Beaumont-Port Arthur TX 95 $71,250
    Bellingham WA 114 $85,500
    Bend OR 100 $75,000
    Billings MT 100 $75,000
    Binghamton NY 96 $72,000
    Birmingham-Hoover AL 90 $67,500
    Bismarck ND 100 $75,000
    Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford VA 97 $72,750
    Bloomington IN 100 $75,000
    Bloomington-Normal IL 97 $72,750
    Boise City-Nampa ID 93 $69,750
    Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH 129 $96,750
    Boulder CO 124 $93,000
    Bowling Green KY 89 $66,750
    Bremerton-Silverdale WA 100 $75,000
    Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT 129 $96,750
    Brownsville-Harlingen TX 86 $64,500
    Brunswick GA 100 $75,000
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY 93 $69,750
    Burlington NC 97 $72,750
    Burlington-South Burlington VT 129 $96,750
    Canton-Massillon OH 100 $75,000
    Cape Coral-Fort Myers FL 98 $73,500
    Carson City NV 100 $75,000
    Casper WY 100 $75,000
    Cedar Rapids IA 92 $69,000
    Champaign-Urbana IL 98 $73,500
    Charleston WV 92 $69,000
    Charleston-North Charleston SC 97 $72,750
    Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord NC-SC 92 $69,000
    Charlottesville VA 106 $79,500
    Chattanooga TN-GA 88 $66,000
    Cheyenne WY 100 $75,000
    Chicago-Naperville-Joliet IL-IN-WI 113 $84,750
    Chico CA 100 $75,000
    Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN 89 $66,750
    Clarksville TN-KY 88 $66,000
    Cleveland TN 91 $68,250
    Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor OH 99 $74,250
    Coeur d’Alene ID 100 $75,000
    College Station-Bryan TX 100 $75,000
    Colorado Springs CO 91 $68,250
    Columbia MO 91 $68,250
    Columbia SC 95 $71,250
    Columbus GA-AL 100 $75,000
    Columbus IN 100 $75,000
    Columbus OH 94 $70,500
    Corpus Christi TX 93 $69,750
    Corvallis OR 100 $75,000
    Cumberland MD-WV 100 $75,000
    Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 92 $69,000
    Dalton GA 100 $75,000
    Danbury CT 129 $96,750
    Danville IL 89 $66,750
    Danville VA 100 $75,000
    Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL 96 $72,000
    Dayton OH 93 $69,750
    Decatur AL 88 $66,000
    Decatur IL 93 $69,750
    Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach FL 100 $75,000
    Denver-Aurora CO 101 $75,750
    Des Moines-West Des Moines IA 90 $67,500
    Detroit-Warren-Livonia MI 100 $75,000
    Dothan AL 85 $63,750
    Dover DE 97 $72,750
    Dubuque IA 96 $72,000
    Duluth MN-WI 100 $75,000
    Durham NC 94 $70,500
    Eau Claire WI 93 $69,750
    El Centro CA 100 $75,000
    El Paso TX 90 $67,500
    Elizabethtown KY 100 $75,000
    Elkhart-Goshen IN 100 $75,000
    Elmira NY 100 $75,000
    Erie PA 100 $75,000
    Eugene-Springfield OR 111 $83,250
    Evansville IN-KY 95 $71,250
    Fairbanks AK 134 $100,500
    Fargo ND-MN 92 $69,000
    Farmington NM 96 $72,000
    Fayetteville NC 97 $72,750
    Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO 89 $66,750
    Flagstaff AZ 116 $87,000
    Flint MI 100 $75,000
    Florence SC 90 $67,500
    Florence-Muscle Shoals AL 88 $66,000
    Fond du Lac WI 100 $75,000
    Fort Collins-Loveland CO 91 $68,250
    Fort Smith AR-OK 83 $62,250
    Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin FL 100 $75,000
    Fort Wayne IN 93 $69,750
    Fresno CA 119 $89,250
    Gadsden AL 86 $64,500
    Gainesville FL 99 $74,250
    Gainesville GA 100 $75,000
    Glens Falls NY 109 $81,750
    Goldsboro NC 100 $75,000
    Grand Forks ND-MN 100 $75,000
    Grand Junction CO 99 $74,250
    Grand Rapids-Wyoming MI 96 $72,000
    Great Falls MT 100 $75,000
    Greeley CO 100 $75,000
    Green Bay WI 95 $71,250
    Greensboro-High Point NC 100 $75,000
    Greenville NC 96 $72,000
    Greenville SC 89 $66,750
    Gulfport-Biloxi MS 100 $75,000
    Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV 84 $63,000
    Hanford-Corcoran CA 100 $75,000
    Harrisburg-Carlisle PA 100 $75,000
    Harrisonburg VA 99 $74,250
    Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT 129 $96,750
    Hattiesburg MS 92 $69,000
    Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC 93 $69,750
    Hinesville-Fort Stewart GA 100 $75,000
    Holland-Grand Haven MI 100 $75,000
    Honolulu HI 165 $123,750
    Hot Springs AR 91 $68,250
    Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux LA 100 $75,000
    Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown TX 89 $66,750
    Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH 100 $75,000
    Huntsville AL 91 $68,250
    Idaho Falls ID 100 $75,000
    Indianapolis-Carmel IN 88 $66,000
    Iowa City IA 93 $69,750
    Ithaca NY 103 $77,250
    Jackson MI 100 $75,000
    Jackson MS 95 $71,250
    Jackson TN 90 $67,500
    Jacksonville FL 94 $70,500
    Jacksonville NC 92 $69,000
    Janesville WI 95 $71,250
    Jefferson City MO 89 $66,750
    Johnson City TN 88 $66,000
    Johnstown PA 94 $70,500
    Jonesboro AR 85 $63,750
    Joplin MO 87 $65,250
    Kalamazoo-Portage MI 94 $70,500
    Kankakee-Bradley IL 100 $75,000
    Kansas City MO-KS 95 $71,250
    Kennewick-Richland-Pasco WA 88 $66,000
    Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood TX 90 $67,500
    Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN-VA 100 $75,000
    Kingston NY 100 $75,000
    Knoxville TN 89 $66,750
    Kokomo IN 100 $75,000
    La Crosse WI-MN 100 $75,000
    Lafayette IN 94 $70,500
    Lafayette LA 98 $73,500
    Lake Charles LA 93 $69,750
    Lakeland FL 100 $75,000
    Lancaster PA 100 $75,000
    Lansing-East Lansing MI 100 $75,000
    Laredo TX 100 $75,000
    Las Cruces NM 101 $75,750
    Las Vegas-Paradise NV 100 $75,000
    Lawrence KS 93 $69,750
    Lawton OK 86 $64,500
    Lebanon PA 100 $75,000
    Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner MA 129 $96,750
    Lewiston ID-WA 100 $75,000
    Lewiston-Auburn ME 129 $96,750
    Lexington-Fayette KY 95 $71,250
    Lima OH 93 $69,750
    Lincoln NE 100 $75,000
    Little Rock-North Little Rock AR 87 $65,250
    Logan UT-ID 98 $73,500
    Longview TX 100 $75,000
    Longview WA 100 $75,000
    Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA 142 $106,500
    Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN 89 $66,750
    Lubbock TX 87 $65,250
    Lynchburg VA 96 $72,000
    Macon GA 100 $75,000
    Madera CA 100 $75,000
    Madison WI 100 $75,000
    Manchester NH 129 $96,750
    Mansfield OH 100 $75,000
    McAllen-Edinburg-Mission TX 86 $64,500
    Medford OR 100 $75,000
    Memphis TN-MS-AR 86 $64,500
    Merced CA 100 $75,000
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach FL 120 $90,000
    Michigan City-La Porte IN 100 $75,000
    Midland TX 91 $68,250
    Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI 102 $76,500
    Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI 114 $85,500
    Missoula MT 101 $75,750
    Mobile AL 90 $67,500
    Modesto CA 100 $75,000
    Monroe LA 97 $72,750
    Monroe MI 100 $75,000
    Montgomery AL 96 $72,000
    Morgantown WV 100 $75,000
    Morristown TN 88 $66,000
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes WA 100 $75,000
    Muncie IN 100 $75,000
    Muskegon-Norton Shores MI 100 $75,000
    Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach SC 91 $68,250
    Napa CA 100 $75,000
    Naples-Marco Island FL 100 $75,000
    Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro TN 88 $66,000
    New Bedford MA 129 $96,750
    New Haven CT 129 $96,750
    New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA 106 $79,500
    New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island* NY-NJ-PA 218 $163,500
    Niles-Benton Harbor MI 100 $75,000
    Norwich-New London CT-RI 129 $96,750
    Ocala FL 100 $75,000
    Ocean City NJ 100 $75,000
    Odessa TX 89 $66,750
    Ogden-Clearfield UT 100 $75,000
    Oklahoma City OK 89 $66,750
    Olympia WA 105 $78,750
    Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA 89 $66,750
    Orlando-Kissimmee FL 98 $73,500
    Oshkosh-Neenah WI 100 $75,000
    Owensboro KY 100 $75,000
    Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA 100 $75,000
    Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville FL 100 $75,000
    Panama City-Lynn Haven FL 105 $78,750
    Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna WV-OH 100 $75,000
    Pascagoula MS 100 $75,000
    Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent FL 100 $75,000
    Peoria IL 100 $75,000
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD 103 $77,250
    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ 100 $75,000
    Pine Bluff AR 100 $75,000
    Pittsburgh PA 92 $69,000
    Pittsfield MA 129 $96,750
    Pocatello ID 100 $75,000
    Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce FL 100 $75,000
    Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME 129 $96,750
    Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA 117 $87,750
    Portsmouth NH-ME 129 $96,750
    Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown NY 100 $75,000
    Prescott AZ 105 $78,750
    Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA 129 $96,750
    Provo-Orem UT 100 $75,000
    Pueblo CO 83 $62,250
    Punta Gorda FL 100 $75,000
    Racine WI 100 $75,000
    Raleigh-Cary NC 100 $75,000
    Rapid City SD 100 $75,000
    Reading PA 100 $75,000
    Redding CA 100 $75,000
    Reno-Sparks NV 108 $81,000
    Richmond VA 105 $78,750
    Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA 123 $92,250
    Roanoke VA 93 $69,750
    Rochester MN 98 $73,500
    Rochester NY 99 $74,250
    Rochester-Dover NH-ME 129 $96,750
    Rockford IL 91 $68,250
    Rocky Mount NC 100 $75,000
    Rome GA 100 $75,000
    Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville CA 115 $86,250
    Saginaw-Saginaw Township North MI 100 $75,000
    Salem OR 100 $75,000
    Salinas CA 100 $75,000
    Salisbury MD 100 $75,000
    Salt Lake City UT 98 $73,500
    San Angelo TX 90 $67,500
    San Antonio TX 93 $69,750
    San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA 132 $99,000
    San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA 137 $102,750
    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA 158 $118,500
    San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles CA 100 $75,000
    Sandusky OH 100 $75,000
    Santa Barbara-Santa Maria CA 100 $75,000
    Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA 100 $75,000
    Santa Fe NM 100 $75,000
    Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA 100 $75,000
    Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice FL 97 $72,750
    Savannah GA 90 $67,500
    Scranton–Wilkes-Barre PA 100 $75,000
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA 114 $85,500
    Sebastian-Vero Beach FL 101 $75,750
    Sheboygan WI 97 $72,750
    Sherman-Denison TX 100 $75,000
    Shreveport-Bossier City LA 93 $69,750
    Sioux City IA-NE-SD 100 $75,000
    Sioux Falls SD 100 $75,000
    South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI 90 $67,500
    Spartanburg SC 100 $75,000
    Spokane WA 91 $68,250
    Springfield IL 86 $64,500
    Springfield MA-CT 129 $96,750
    Springfield MO 89 $66,750
    Springfield OH 100 $75,000
    St. Cloud MN 99 $74,250
    St. George UT 97 $72,750
    St. Joseph MO-KS 92 $69,000
    St. Louis MO-IL 87 $65,250
    State College PA 100 $75,000
    Stockton CA 100 $75,000
    Sumter SC 93 $69,750
    Syracuse NY 98 $73,500
    Tallahassee FL 100 $75,000
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL 99 $74,250
    Terre Haute IN 89 $66,750
    Texarkana-Texarkana TX-AR 100 $75,000
    Toledo OH 100 $75,000
    Topeka KS 88 $66,000
    Trenton-Ewing NJ 100 $75,000
    Tucson AZ 97 $72,750
    Tulsa OK 85 $63,750
    Tuscaloosa AL 92 $69,000
    Tyler TX 94 $70,500
    Utica-Rome NY 100 $75,000
    Valdosta GA 90 $67,500
    Vallejo-Fairfield CA 100 $75,000
    Victoria TX 100 $75,000
    Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton NJ 100 $75,000
    Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC 110 $82,500
    Visalia-Porterville CA 100 $75,000
    Waco TX 87 $65,250
    Warner Robins GA 100 $75,000
    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 138 $103,500
    Waterbury CT 129 $96,750
    Waterloo-Cedar Falls IA 89 $66,750
    Wausau WI 96 $72,000
    Weirton-Steubenville WV-OH 100 $75,000
    Wenatchee WA 100 $75,000
    Wheeling WV-OH 100 $75,000
    Wichita Falls TX 100 $75,000
    Wichita KS 90 $67,500
    Williamsport PA 98 $73,500
    Wilmington NC 98 $73,500
    Winchester VA-WV 103 $77,250
    Winston-Salem NC 90 $67,500
    Worcester MA-CT 129 $96,750
    Yakima WA 99 $74,250
    York-Hanover PA 98 $73,500
    Youngstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA 93 $69,750
    Yuba City CA 100 $75,000
    Yuma AZ 103 $77,250

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/09/07/what-salary-buys-happiness-in-your-city/
     
  2. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Member

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    Wow, your fingers must be numb. Whole lotta words.
     
  3. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    Ill probably never get into the NY threshold. But the DC one seems attainable.
     
  4. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Member

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    I've been thrilled by every single pay increase ever.

    Just sayin'
     
  5. dharocks

    dharocks Member

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    I just thought that that was the level where you generally start seeing diminishing returns?
     
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    They say a raise is just a raise for 3 months... then it's just your salary.
     
  7. BE4RD

    BE4RD Member

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    A new study... as in, 3 years old.
     
  8. Rock3t Man

    Rock3t Man Member

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    The transition from college pay to out of college pay is the best raise ever. And then loans, bills etc. hit and its all downhill from there
     
  9. finalsbound

    finalsbound Member

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    if i made 66,000 a year i would have everything i need.
     
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    But what about the victory of want over need?
     
  11. SWTsig

    SWTsig Member

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    i'd be happy anywhere.
     
  12. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    bigtexxx does not approve.
     
  13. So Good

    So Good Member

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    Holy crap New York!
     
  14. mfastx

    mfastx Member
    Supporting Member

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    He would never interact with the poors in this thread.
     
  15. So Good

    So Good Member

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    And by holy crap, I mean I knew it was bad but not like that.
     
  16. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Member

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    Yeah, that's probably about right. $66K per month would likely be enough.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. arjun

    arjun Member

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    did anyone on clutchfans get a chance to respond to this survey?

    i didnt think so....what a load of crap.
     
  18. Outlier

    Outlier Member

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    What is the most satisfactory salary for a new grad? What amount should make anyone happy coming out of college?
     
  19. atomicanderz

    atomicanderz Member

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    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA 158 $118,500

    Well... ****.
     
  20. Dave_78

    Dave_78 Member

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    Sounds about right. Most folks can live a comfortable life on $60-something thousand if they are reasonable intelligent with their money. I remember starting a job at $70k and feeling a huge amount of relief and security.
     

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