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September 27, 2012

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Money gains importance in making people happy

MONEY plays an increasingly important role in residents' happiness due to the rising cost of living in the city, according to a survey by Shanghai Women's Federation.

In a poll based on 1,771 residents aged from 15 to 60, the option of "having a lot of money" rose four spots to rank third on a list of sources of happiness this year compared to 2009. People with higher incomes were also happier than others, the survey found.

"The change in ranking reflects growing financial pressure of living in the city," said Chen Jianjun, director of the federation's children and family department.

"Rising consumer prices, the obligation to support the old, and tuition fees for the child all require young couples to earn more. This apparently makes them unhappy," Chen said.

The report found people were less happy when their annual family income was between 20,000 yuan (US$3,173) and 40,000 yuan. Their happiness grew with the increase of the family income with the switch between being unhappy and happy occurring at around 100,000 yuan.

Good health still topped all the sources of happiness for local families, with more than 70 percent of respondents picking it first out of 16 options.

But knowing how to enjoy life seems to be of little importance, ranking bottom on the list with votes from only 4.5 percent.

Female respondents feel happier than their male counterparts in all aspects ranging from quality of life, conflict management, self-assessment and interaction with family members.

Generally speaking, Shanghai residents feel relatively happy about their life with an average score is 67.29 out of 100, 17.27 points up compared to 2009.


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