You might remember our blog post we wrote last year, naming Harrogate as the happiest place to live in the UK, according to research carried out by property website Rightmove. Well, a 21st century spin has been put on the quest to find the most smiley town in the country with the help of 100 million Instagram photos.
UK start-up firm Jetpac used software to analyse the mouths in location-tagged photos and whether they were smiling, wearing lipstick (apparently a sign of happiness) or topped off by a moustache (according to the research, facial hair is a common features in hipsters, and therefore less likely to accompanied by a smile. A possible explanation as to why London is so far down the list?).
Funnily enough, my hometown Belfast turned out to be top of the list – more specifically the Parlour Bar. Unsurprisingly, this particular establishment, for as long as I can remember, has been quite the honeypot for local sixth-formers and university students. The novelty of nights out and the promise of youth, armed with a smartphone, probably explain the high concentration of smiles!
Bad news for those in Salford, which came bottom. But it seems it isn’t just grim up north with southern cities in the firing line too. I wouldn’t get too disheartened though – there’s no sign of Harrogate in the entire list, so probably best to take this fun bit of research with a pinch of salt. Besides, with JoJo stores in lots of the ‘unhappiest’ towns, we can safely say they are lovely, friendly places and we love being there!
In total, 40 UK cities were ranked – did your town make it on to either list?
|1. Belfast||40. Salford|
|2. Bournemouth||39. Bath|
|3. Derby||38. London|
|4. Exeter||37. Luton|
|5. Lincoln||36. Edinburgh|
|6. Aberdeen||35. Newquay|
|7. Glasgow||34. Sheffield|
|8. Colchester||33. Brighton|
|9. Newcastle||32. York|
|10. Oxford||31. Blackpool|