For migrants, greater income is not greater happiness

Pursuit of wealth does not equate with happiness. 1st September 2010: A new study from the University of Leicester has found that economic migrants coming to the UK for greater income do not gain greater happiness from higher incomes.
Migrants do gain happiness from higher incomes to a greater extent compared to the natives. But the relationship between higher incomes and happiness is weak, even for migrants.

The study has apparently brought to fore the need for providing better facilities, including good working and living environment, so that happiness accompanies their pursuit to earn more for their families back home.

The study, "Economic Migration and Happiness: Comparing Immigrants’ and Natives’ Happiness Gains from Income", has found that the pursuit of wealth does not equate with happiness.

Carried out by sociologist David Bartram, the study was aimed at finding whether people motivated by higher incomes in a wealthy country actually gained greater happiness.

The research examined responses from 1,400 people in the World Values Survey also to see whether the economic migrants might have exaggerated expectations on what they will achieve and experience.

Bartram of the Department of Sociology said the study of happiness found people generally did not gain greater happiness from earning higher incomes, which suggests the migrants might be mistaken in believing they will be better off if they can move to a wealthy country.

The results suggest that economic migrants might well experience disappointment.

Probably, they expect to be happier by earning greater incomes in a wealthy country, but end up wanting even more after they get there. Aspirations probably increase at least as much as incomes.


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