Yesterday I noted Daniel Kahneman's contention that Americans report their happiness rises with their income up to a point, but after that point, there is no correlation with happiness. The point he named was $60,000 in household income per year. I noted that this is about the midpoint of the income distribution in the U.S.A. now.
An anonymous respondent pointed out that more money has meant more contentment for her family, and where you live makes a big difference in whether $60,000 buys basic contentment or not. She offered that in her California neighborhood, $60,000 would not go very far. She reports that now that they make $200,000 they are more content than they were when they made half that.
This criticism is just. To apply Kahneman's insight about the nation as a whole to any particular place we would need to adjust the number to local conditions. The median household income in California as a whole is about $60,000. However, of the 100 communities with the highest median household income in the United States, 19 are in California (far higher than California's proportion of the national population). The top of the list: Atherton, CA, with a median household income just over $200,000.
To turn Kahneman's finding into a general proposition, I propose this hypothesis: happiness correlates with income up to the median household income of your community.