The study, conducted by researchers at University College London, used data from 15,000 teens and young adults in the U.S.
Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and Professor Andrew Oswald discovered that individuals who rated themselves with higher ‘life satisfaction’ tended to earn noticeably more money as adults.
When this data was quantified, scientists worked out that every extra point of happiness at the age of 22 links to a $2000 increase in salary per year at 29.
To make the study as fair as possible, the researchers looked at sibling examples. They found that even when children grew up in the same household, the happier one would still go on to make more money than their unhappier sibling later in life.
The correlation between happiness and wealth could be present because satisfied people tend to be hopeful and confident about the future, prompting them to earn degrees, find good jobs and work hard for career advancement.
These findings reinforce the importance of well-being in society.
Dr De Neve said the results: “highlight the importance of promoting general well-being not just because happiness is what the general population aspires to but also for its economic impact.”
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