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The salary Americans say they need to be happy is under $70,000 in these 10 states

Taiyou Nomachi | Digitalvision | Getty Images

Earning a six-figure salary is a common aspiration for many Americans, even if it won't make them feel rich

But if you're looking for a salary that will make you happy, it will likely take close to $100,000. On average, Americans say earning $94,696 a year would make them happy, according to a new survey from Moneyzine.com

Residents in some states, however, would be happy earning far less: In 33 states, residents named average salaries under $100,000 as their "ideal" incomes.

And in New Hampshire and Delaware, residents wouldn't even need to make $50,000 to be happy, the survey found.

Residents of New Hampshire said, on average, $42,000 a year would make them happy — the smallest salary of all 50 states. Those from Delaware need a little more, but still just $49,000.

Surprisingly, it's not necessarily the most affordable states where residents say smaller salaries would make them sufficiently happy. 

Where happiness comes cheap

Though the states that named the highest salaries necessary to be happy were among some of the most expensive states to live in, including New York and Hawaii, the states with the smallest ideal salaries aren't necessarily the cheapest.

Though residents of New Hampshire named the smallest average salary to be happy, it's the ninth most expensive state to live in, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

And some residents may already be making their ideal salary. New Hampshire's median annual income of $47,923 per Bureau of Labor Statistics data surpasses the state's average ideal salary of $42,000, according to Moneyzine.com.

Here are the states with the lowest ideal salaries:

1. New Hampshire

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $42,000
  • Median annual salary: $47,923

2. Delaware

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $49,000
  • Median annual salary: $47,154

3. Vermont

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $55,638
  • Median annual salary: $47,320

4. Mississippi

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $57,500
  • Median annual salary: $36,109

5. Indiana

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $58,167
  • Median annual salary: $42,099

6. Kansas

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $61,667
  • Median annual salary: $41,870

7. Rhode Island

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $64,000
  • Median annual salary: $49,358

8. North Dakota

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $65,158
  • Median annual salary: $47,403

9. Wyoming

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $65,778
  • Median annual salary: $45,448

10. Alabama

  • Average salary needed to be happy: $69,615
  • Median annual salary: $38,480

Mississippi is the least expensive state to live in, based on the MERIC cost of living index, which compares local housing and utility, grocery, transportation and other costs.

Though the median income there doesn't quite measure up to what residents say they'd need to be happy, it's not nearly as far off as it is in states like Hawaii and New York where residents would need to more than quadruple the median incomes to earn their ideal salaries.

Earning more money can certainly make you happier, especially if it takes you from living paycheck to paycheck to living securely. But it isn't everything. Research has found that while a higher income can correlate with more joy, money's effect isn't as powerful as things like taking care of your family, marrying someone you love or just having a memorable experience. 

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