Last night Facebook expanded their Gross National Happiness product to include three new countries: Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In contrast to the United States which is happy most of the time, Australia is regularly unhappy when it isn’t holidays. In 2007 it appears as though Australia was “unhappy” most of the time. This only leads me to wonder if Australians speak a different form of English than Americans.
Other interesting findings posted by Adam Kramer of Facebook:
- Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day are still among the happiest days for all of these nations, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday are happiest days of the week.
- Canadians are happier the day before Canadian Thanksgiving (a Sunday) than on the actual Canadian Thanksgiving Day (a Monday).
- Australia’s index was lowest on Feb. 13, 2008 – the day Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized in Parliament to indigenous Australians – reflecting the 4 percent of Aussie status updates containing the word “sorry.”
- Happiness levels in the UK seem to have the least variation, with the fewest large peaks among all the graphs due to holidays.
You can view the full Gross National Happiness product here. While there aren’t too many interesting findings of this latest version of the product, it’s interesting to see how the overall sentiment of status updates trends from one country to the next. One thing I should say is that Australians appear to be increasingly happy since first experiencing a “positivity drought” back in 2007.