400 Richest Americans vs Masai

In a 1985 survey by Ed Diener (Uni of Illinois) and Martin E.P. Seligman (Uni of Pennsylvania) in “Psychological Science in the Public Interest” (July 2004), respondents from the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans and the Masai of East Africa were almost equally satisfied and ranked relatively high in well-being.

The Masai are a traditional herding people who have no electricity or running water and live in huts made of dung.

This study shows that economic development and personal income do not account for the happiness that they are so often linked to.