A new Brookings Institution paper finds that people who live in rich countries are more satisfied with their lives than those in poor countries, and rich people within individual countries are happier than their poor neighbors. …

In a survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by Gallup and analyzed by Wolfers and his co-author Betsey Stevenson, only 1 percent who made more than $75,000 said they were “very dissatisfied” with their lives, and only 4 percent ranked their happiness in the lowest category.

The effect appeared even more pronounced further up the income spectrum. The handful of respondents who earned more than half a million dollars a year all ranked their happiness and satisfaction at the highest levels.

“We still found that the really privileged were happier than the merely privileged,” Wolfers said.