From hangovers to headaches, there are several health nuisances that can put a damper on day-to-day activities. While some may not be significant enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, they do enough damage to call for preventative measures. But exactly how far would you go to avoid common ailments like allergies, migraines, or even COVID-19? For this study, we asked people all over the country to put a price tag on their pain to pinpoint the greatest annoyances across every state.
- On average, Americans are willing to spend $400 monthly for the rest of their life to sleep soundly through the night.
- Americans would spend nearly 40% of one year’s paycheck to get rid of their allergies, permanently.
- Americans are willing to fork over a year’s worth of rent to gain complete immunity to the COVID-19 virus.
- Missourians will be more than happy to pay over $47,000 to never throw up again.
- Pennsylvania residents would gladly pay $60,918 to enjoy life without the burden of allergies. For perspective, Pennsylvania’s median household income is $63,627.
- Californians are willing to pay $23,653 to drink alcohol without the fear of a hangover.
Which Ailments Will People Pay the Big Bucks to Avoid?
Americans value a good night’s sleep above all else. The average American is willing to spend over $400 monthly for the rest of their life to get rid of insomnia for good. Investing in a good night’s sleep makes sense; in many ways, deep sleep helps cure other minor ailments like headaches and colds. Over time, getting enough sleep helps you get sick less often, stay at a healthy weight, and lowers your risk for other serious health problems.
Seasonal annoyances can be disruptive enough to warrant drastic measures too. Every year, 60 million Americans suffer from allergies resulting from exposure to pollen. When it comes to leaving the house without fearing the dreaded yellow powder, many Americans are okay with spending nearly $14,000 to give seasonal allergies the boot forever. According to the U.S. census, the average annual income nationwide is $35,384, meaning Americans would spend nearly 40% of one year’s pay to get rid of their allergies.
Similarly, many people across the country are so sick of COVID-19 that they are willing to fork over a year’s worth of rent to gain complete immunity to the virus. On average, Americans pay $1,096 monthly on rent and are willing to spend roughly $13,500 to cure COVID-19 forever.
Each State Puts a Price on Pain
Mississippians have the lowest tolerance for common health ailments compared to any other state in the country. Residents in Mississippi say they are willing to spend close to a whopping $300,000 altogether to get rid of everything from pimples to poor sleep. By contrast, it will take more than insomnia or a fleeting migraine to phase the residents of Rhode Island – Rhode Islanders are willing to spend the least money on curing minor symptoms at only $6,358, making them the toughest state in the country when taking on slight health ailments.
Each state has a health ailment it dreads the most. Most Americans claim poor sleep is the worst; 28 out of 50 states are willing to spend more on a cure for insomnia than on any other ailment. Ironically, the state that is home to the “city that never sleeps” prioritizes a good night’s rest over everything else: Altogether, residents in New York are willing to spend $85,186 for more REM cycles.
People in Missouri and New Mexico are willing to prioritize eliminating stomachaches and bugs for good before anything else. Residents of New Mexico say they would spend $42,300 to never deal with stomachaches and cramps again, while Missourians will be more than happy to pay over $47,000 to never throw up again.
Pennsylvanians dread allergies more than any other health ailment on our list, making it clear that they would fork over $60,918 to enjoy life without the burden of peanut butter, shellfish, or pollen allergies. According to the U.S. census, the average income in Pennsylvania is $63,627, meaning residents would collectively pay 96% of the annual household income to leave the house without sneezing and without their Epi-pens.
What Lengths Will People Go for Immunity?
In the case of COVID-19, some states are willing to go to great lengths to cure the virus for good. Washingtonians agree that finding a cure for COVID-19 is more beneficial than conquering any other common ailment on our list. Washington residents would pay $22,481 to retire their Coronavirus restrictions once and for all. While Mississippians agree that insomnia takes precedence over any other slight illness, they would also spend $69,730 on curing COVID –– more than any other state in the country.
Although not quite as urgent as curing COVID-19, Californians are more than happy to spend big to never have hangovers again. California residents are willing to pay $23,653 for the ability to drink without recourse. For people in California, curing COVID-19 takes a backseat, as many residents say they would only pay $3,099 for immunity to the virus.
From insomnia to stomachaches, and everything else in between, many common ailments are annoying enough to ruin your day. While many may not be significant enough to warrant a visit to the doctor, others could signify something more urgent. Ongoing ailments can often be resolved with expert advice or prescription medication.
To uncover what residents from each state would pay to avoid common health ailments forever, we surveyed 3,070 respondents across 44 states from October 17 to 20, 2022. The study included a representative sample collected across states, age ranges, and gender. Insights for Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming could not be collected due to the low pool of available survey respondents in these states.