The relationship between money and happiness isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Using data from the Cabinet Office’s Wellbeing and Policy Report we’ve plotted the salary and happiness of more than 260 occupations. More info.
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If a high salary really did equal happiness you’d expect those with the highest salaries to be the most happy, and those with the lowest salaries to be the least happy. However, in reality this isn’t always the case.
The happiness curve indicates the overall relationship between happiness and salary. Compared with the general trend, occupations which appear above the curve are happier than you might expect for people on their salary, and those below the curve appear less happy than you'd expect.
The ‘happy outliers’ are those jobs which appear furthest above the curve.
The most significant outliers are fitness instructors, who despite earning significantly less than many other occupations are actually happier. They’re followed by dental nurses (who, incidentally, are happier than dentists) and school secretaries.
When we look at the top 5 happiest jobs, we see a huge salary range from £18k for company secretaries, to £117k for CEOs and senior officials.
The clergy come out on top in terms of happiness, despite earning nearly 6 times less than CEOs and senior officials who sit in second place.
The happy outlying sectors are those which report being happier than you might expect given the average salaries. Clergy top the list, followed by secretarial and education.
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