Londoners gloomiest selfie takers out of six cities across the world

Londoners are the gloomiest selfie takers out of six cities across the world, a ‘selfiecity’ study concluded, i.e. Londoners have the unhappiest or least happy faces when they take self-portraits with their smartphones, compared to people in Moscow, São Paulo, New York, Berlin and Bangkok.

The researchers analyzed 152,462 selfies posted in Instagram taken in central London between the 21st and 27th of September, 2015.

Study leaders, Moritz Stefaner and Lev Manovich, alongside a team of data scientists, designers and art historians used face-recognition software to determine that Londoners had the ‘least happy faces’ in their self-portraits.

Londoners gloomiest selfie takersLondoners look the most miserable when taking selfies.

Some highlighted data from the study

Average age – males: in London, the average age of male selfies was 28 years, which was higher than 26.3 years, the average for the other cities.

Average age – females: in London, the average age of female selfies was 23.7 years, which is statistically virtually the same as the 23.6 year average for the other cities.



Males vs. females: in London, 62.8% of all selfies were of females, versus 37.2% of males.

Males vs. females elsewhere: the proportion of female selfies in other cities were 82% in Moscow, São Paulo 65.4%, New York 61.6%, Berlin 59.4%, and Bangkok 55.2%.

Wearing glasses: in London, 29% of selfies had people wearing glasses, compared to 18% in the other cities.

More selfies in London had people with their eyes closed than in the other cities.

Selfie womenIn all six cities, the proportion of female selfies was significantly higher than male selfies.

Preference for private spots for selfies

The researchers also discovered a very interesting pattern when they analyzed a map of London showing popular and less popular spots for taking pictures. Locations with fewer photos had a much higher proportion of faces in those photos.

Gloomiest selfies in LondonCould it be due to the weather?

The investigators wrote:

“Perhaps people are looking for smaller, more private spots for their portrait or seflie photos or simply prefer to take these photos in interesting and unique spaces with no tourists around.”

Selfiecity London forms part of the Big Bang Data Exhibition at Somerset House, which will be open to the public from December 3rd until February 28th, 2016.

Video – How to take the perfect selfie

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