New Happiest Countries List Based on Social Media Photos?



Social media has outgrown its original purpose to connect people. It is now used for various odd activities, including asking for opinion on clothing choice, searching for missing toys, and people, or sharing big and embracing secrets with complete strangers. Advertising is not to be discussed here!

Couple in Paris walking on the bridge Alexander the ThirdThe latest unusual use of social media, however, recently produced a new list of the world’s happiest countries. The ranking was based on the number of smiley photos published from each country.

The list was inspired by the International Day of Happiness which was marked in March. It includes more than 150 million social media photos from over 6,000 cities across the world. The ranking was based on the API of social media websites. Through a special type of technology called “geo-parsing,” the faces in the photos and then they were scanned whether they were smiling or not. The bigger a smile, the more points the venue received. According to the team behind the experiment, a genuine smile is a quick indicator whether a person is having a good time or not.

Here are the top 20 happiest countries judging by their social media photos:

  • Brazil
  • Nicaragua
  • Honduras
  • Colombia
  • Bolivia
  • Costa Rica
  • Venzuela
  • Philippines
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • Macedonia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Panama
  • El Salvador
  • Ecuador
  • Netherlands/Antilles
  • Chile
  • Romania
  • Moldova
  • Paraguay
  • . United Arab Emirates

As you can see, the top 20 ranking is dominated by Central and South American countries. In fact, there are only seven countries among the first 20 that are located outside of these two continents. The highest ranked of these locations is the Philippines. The country somehow ended up on the 8th position. However, the world’s happiest was found to be Brazil. Social media users in this South American country must be very smiley since they scored the highest score from all the 122 entries. Brazil was followed by two Central American countries – Nicaragua (2) and Honduras (3).

The higher ranked European country is Macedonia, which takes the 11th position. Romania, another Balkan country near Bulgaria, can also be seen further down the ranking at the 18th spot.

Western European countries, on the other hand, are comfortably sitting in the middle of the list. Among them, Italy is the 55th happiest country, while Norway and the United Kingdom were 59th and 63rd. A similar trend is observed in North America. The U.S. takes the 34th spot and Canada is 45th.

On the other end of the list are the world’s unhappiest countries. Unfortunately, along with other Middle Eastern country the United Arab Emirates is among them. The UAE is the 16th unhappiest country on this list. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are said to be even unhappier since they both found a spot in the less prestigious ranking.

Still, Asian countries received even lower smiley scores. According to the odd ranking, Japan and South Korea are the saddest countries in the world. Social media users in this region should probably drop the long faces and show a big grin if they want to advance in the ranking.


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