Happiness in youth leads to wealth in adulthood: Study

SINGAPORE - They say that money cannot buy happiness, but perhaps it may work the other way around.

A new study by scientists in Britain suggests that happy youngsters have a higher possibility of becoming rich adults.

According to a study by Jan-Emmanuel De Neve of University of College and professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick, people who reported higher life satisfaction when young were more likely to have a higher income than their depressed counterparts.

In the study, researchers evaluated data from 15,000 US adolescents and young adults to find the link between happiness and wealth.

The study showed that a one-point increase in life satisfaction - on a scale of five - at the age of 22 can lead to almost US$2,000 (S$2,448) higher annual income by age 29.

Such disparity in earning is due to the fact that happy people are more likely to get a degree, job or promotion, researchers suggested.

Even people who grew up in similar environments had different results according to their attitude toward life. The data showed that cheerful youngsters went on to make more money than their gloomy siblings.

De Neve said the findings have significant meaning for the public, policymakers and academics, because they highlight the importance of emotional well-being of the young and the fact that it is key to their future success.

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