Being a full-time student, I find myself temporarily in a low-income situation and can say there are many advantages to being a low-income person living in a high-income environment. Plenty of benefits abound such as high levels of public safety, great public transportation, nice facilities such as parks and good libraries, easy access to world-class museums, quick snow removal, etc. Despite my income being lower than it has ever been in my adult life, my rent is the highest ever. And the benefits make it worth every penny living here.
This contains an important lesson for development. It is far better to be a poor person in a rich country (like America) than a poor person in a poor country (like India or Haiti). The differences in life outcomes can be orders of magnitude apart.
Recent happiness research has two findings that at first glance seem contradictory: 1) people in wealthier countries are happier than people in poorer countries; and 2) wealth doesn’t influence happiness much after passing a level that allows provision for a reasonable amount of food, shelter, security, etc.
For happiness, it seems it is far more important to live in a wealthy region than it is to be wealthy yourself.