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But Tebb notes that the previous study had limitations. For one, it looked only at emotional well-being, rather than life satisfaction, which is arguably more important. You can be emotionally happy hour-to-hour, like at the moment you are completing a survey. But you can feel differently about your life overall, when assessing your accomplishments and personal situation. And, two, it only considered the U.S., not other countries.
Depending on the nation, so-called “satiation points” vary a lot. In Western Europe and Scandinavia, the optimum income level is around $100,000, according to the study. In North America, it’s $105,000. In Australia/New Zealand, it was $125,000. In Eastern Europe, the average was just $45,000 while in sub-Saharan Africa it was $40,000. The $95,000 headline is the average of all survey respondents everywhere.