Living a life of generosity results in…

More Satisfaction with Life

Seventy-four percent (74%) of high-generosity people said they were satisfied with their life over the past year compared to 60% of low-generosity folks. The difference is even more pronounced when looking at people who were "very satisfied" with their life. High-generosity people were more than twice as likely to be in that group.

More Satisfaction with Finances

Forty-six percent (46%) of high-generosity people were happy with their finances versus just 29% of low-generosity respondents.

More Happiness

High-generosity respondents were almost three times as likely to be "very happy" every day compared with low-generosity people.

More Meaningful Lives

High-generosity respondents were almost three times as likely to have a "very meaningful" life.

More Likely to Believe People are Inherently Good

High-generosity respondents were also more likely to believe that other people were inherently good 60% versus just 39% of low-generosity respondents.

More Satisfying Relationships

Sixty-six percent (66%) reported feeling close to people they know, compared to only half of less-generous respondents. Just 27% of low-generosity respondents identified with feeling very satisfied with their relationships, compared to 45% of more generous folks.

More Friends

On average, generous people reported having more close friends with 3.2 compared to 2.6 for less-generous people. They were also more likely to have a best friend. Low-generosity people were more than twice as likely to feel "not at all close" with anybody they knew.

More People to Count On

Highly generous people counted an average of 5.1 people who would visit them in the hospital compared to 3.4 among low-generosity people. Low-generosity respondents were more than twice as likely to have nobody to get them to or from the airport or help them move, and 53% couldn't name someone who would lend them $1,000.

More Satisfaction with Possessions

High-generosity respondents reported higher rates of satisfaction with their possessions (75% versus 60%), homes (73% versus 56%), and vehicles (72% versus 55%). They were also less likely to feel they'd be happier if they had more money (67% versus 80%).

More Satisfying Careers

High-generosity respondents were more than twice as likely to be "very satisfied" with their careers. High-generosity people were much happier in their careers overall. Seventy percent (70%) felt satisfied with their work, compared to 49% of low-generosity respondents. Sixty-eight percent (68%) said they found real enjoyment in their job, compared to 42% of low-generosity respondents, and 65% were seldom bored (compared to 45%).

More Healthy

Seventy percent (70%) of high-generosity respondents said they felt healthy every day compared to just 54% in the low-generosity group. High-generosity people were more likely to exercise than less-generous folks (65% versus 55%) and more likely to eat a healthy diet (62% versus 45%).


For this study, The Ascent conducted an online survey of 1,010 people in the U.S. To ensure that respondents took the survey seriously, all respondents were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. The margin of error is 3% with a 95% confidence interval.