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    5. New research disproves the myth that money can buy happiness


    New research disproves the myth that money can buy happiness

    Isolated tribesmen are just as happy as rich Westerners

    Isolated from the wider world, indigenous tribesmen are just as happy as their rich Western peers, new study claims . Surveys of people in remote communities challenge the widespread belief that money buys happiness.

    People living in remote indigenous communities are just as happy as people in rich developed countries, despite having they have “very little money”.

    According to The Guardian, researchers who surveyed 2,966 people from 19 indigenous and local communities around the world found that on average they were just as happy – if not happier! – like the average resident of high-income Western countries.

    “Surprisingly, many populations with very low incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, levels similar to those in wealthy countries,” said Eric Galbraith, lead author of the study, which was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy. of Sciences (PNAS). – I would hope that by learning more about what makes life satisfying in these diverse communities, it could help many others lead more satisfying lives while addressing the sustainability crisis.

    A study conducted by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) found that people in 19 isolated communities reported an average score of “life satisfaction” 6.8 out of 10, “even though in most places annual cash income is estimated at less than $1,000 (£800) per person.

    This is roughly in line with average life satisfaction 6.7 points for all countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

    Eric Galbraith, a researcher at ICTA-UAB and McGill University in Montreal, said four small communities reported an average happiness score of more than 8, higher than Finland, the highest-ranking country in OECD research, with an average of 7. 9.

    The four communities are the Colla Atacameña in Argentina (8.0); pai tavitera/guarani in Paraguay (8.2); riberiños in Brazil (8.4) and farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala (8.6). In the Western Highlands, 30 out of 70 respondents gave a 10/10 answer when asked about life satisfaction.

    The average asset per capita in the Western Highlands community is $560 (£450). This compares with the UK per capita average of £305,000, according to the ONS. The UK statistics body notes that the average is much higher than the median (£125,000) due to the “unequal distribution of wealth across the population”.

    The ICTA-UAB report said the findings were “ good news for sustainable development and human happiness because it provides compelling evidence that resource-intensive economic growth is not required to achieve high levels of subjective well-being.

    The strong correlation often observed between income and life satisfaction is not universal and argues that the wealth created by industrialized economies is not fundamentally needed by people to lead happy lives”, – notes Victoria Reyes-Garcia, ICTA-UAB researcher and senior author of the study.

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