In a study of over 2 billion tweets, researchers have found that the Dutch are typically a happy bunch – but that city-dwellers are a little less up-beat than their rural brethren.
As DutchNews.nl reports, researchers Erik Tjong Kim Sang and Antal van den Bosch explored more than 2 billion tweets sent in Dutch since early 2011. They used software to examine the tweets’ sentiment, assessing whether they were positive or negative.
Approximately 2 percent of these tweets contained location data, and so the researchers were able to geographically map the positive and negative tweets to areas around the Netherlands.
Overall, the Dutch are a happy people, with the most positive tweets coming from the countryside. However, the big cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague) tended to send tweets that were less positive. Whether this means that city life is more hectic – or that they simply just like to tweet about it – is open to debate.
The researchers also found that men above the age of 25 were over-represented in their sample, which might affect the sentiment scoring.
The researchers have a website tracking their big data project that you can visit here: TwiNL.
(Dutch windmill landscape image via Shutterstock)