Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Why money matters most in the US, being happy in the rest of the World!

It seems there is a digital divide of a special kind between the US and the rest of the World. Using Google ngrams and Google trends as my cristal ball, I checked what people are searching most. First I looked at their "hope", "fear", "love" and "money" over the last 200 years on ngrams worldwide. The result is shown below.


"Hope" has been decreasing for the last 200 years, as has "fear", which makes sense, they go together and most of the time “we hope it is not as bad as we fear”. More interesting is the decrease in our search for "love", and increase in the search for "money", reaching its peak in the 1940s, tampering off since then, while "love" has been picking up recently.

Drilling down on the last fifteen years, Google trends shows that while "love" matters more than "money" (after all money is just a proxy to buy love), happiness and money are close twins:


The picture above shows the worldwide searches on Google, there being "happy" became more important than chasing "money" sometime after 2010.
Restricting the same search only on the US shows the opposite picture: In the US finding money is more important than finding happiness:


Somewhere before 2016, being "happy" and "money" were equals, but since then money has definitively beaten happiness in importance in US Google search activity.

So, yes, there is a divide in what really matters, money or being happy, between the US and the rest of the World: money matters most in the US, being happy in the rest of the World!

Addendum: it also seems that searching for "love" is far more important than searching for "happiness".