Happiness varies less with income than with other key aspects of our external and internal life.
The key external aspect is the quality of our human relationships – above all with family and loved ones, but also with our colleagues and our boss, and in our local community.
The most important internal factor about us is our health, and especially our mental health. Mental health is the biggest single predictor of happiness.
What about income?
Above a level to meet basic needs, income differences explain only 1% of the variation in life satisfaction across people, all other things being equal*. People care largely about their income relative to other people. This means general increases in income have very small impacts on overall happiness in a society.
*The partial correlation coefficient on income is 0.9