SCIENTISTS claim to have cracked the code to “richness” – in Scotland it can be found by living in Dundee and earning less than £35,000 a year as a fisherman.
A study conducted by psychologist Dr David Lewis suggests success and richness are no longer evaluated by the money in our pockets, as when it comes to “true richness”, cash has very little to do with it.
Those working in fishing and forestry were found to lead richer lives than those in business and financial operations, and people earning less than £35,000 a year outstripped high earners taking home up to £200,000.
In Scotland, Dundonians came out top in terms of richness and fulfilment, followed by people from Edinburgh then Glasgow.
Some 2,000 people were interviewed as part of the study about their attitudes towards life and contentment, coupled with information such as occupation, income, family status and home town.
The variables in the formula, above, included people’s attitudes to planning (P), confrontation (C), success (S), perfection (K), money (M), family (F), leisure time (L) and materialism (Z).
What it revealed was that people who can enjoy the imperfections in life are the richest, those who cherish mistakes are richer than meticulous planners, and richer individuals value memories over possessions.
Dr Lewis, of research consultancy Mindlab, who calculated the formula, said: “Our research has revealed some fascinating insights into how rich people view their lives to be.
“We used quadratic mathematical modelling to find the ‘formula for true richness’, or, in other words, what combination of attitudes towards life is found in the happiest people.
“During the interviews, 59 per cent of people said the best things in life are free, citing their families and happy memories as their most treasured possessions.”
Scoring high on the happiness scale of richness and fulfilment were people aged over 65; those living in Wales, the south-east of England and Yorkshire; married couples with two children; people earning between £20,000 and £34,999, and fishermen and foresters.
Low scorers included 35 to 44 year-olds; Londoners; singletons; bankers, and those earning between £150,000 and £199,999.
Lucie Illingworth, senior brand manager from Anchor Cheddar, which commissioned the research said: “We developed this formula to find out once and for all what the good stuff in life is. We don’t think that it’s always material possessions which make people the happiest, and the British public agrees.
“It’s interesting to see that it’s not just us but science that shows that success and richness are no longer evaluated by the money in your pocket; it’s the little things in our everyday life such as memories and experiences that mean the most to us.”