Belfast City Hallcreativecommons.com/Macnolete

By Vickie Sam Paget

So you’re searching for the happiest place in the UK? Then forget about hot-footing it to London, Bath or Salford – and head straight to Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Because according to Jetpac, an App that creates city guides based on publicly-posted pictures, in terms of overall happiness, Belfast is the new Thailand.

How did the clever boffins at Jetpac work this out? Well, that was easy... All they had to do was process over 100 million Instagram photos and measure the size of the smiles on people’s faces from all the major cities in the UK. By counting the pixels on those toothy grins, they were able to come up with a ‘Smile Score’ for each city. Et Voila! Belfast came out top.

marathoncreativecommons.org/gwaar

‘Smiles on the faces of millions of people in millions of photos are the most direct measure we have of happiness,’ states the company’s website. ‘A small grin doesn’t score as highly as a broad smile. Smiling for the camera is a cultural habit that tends to be the same around a country, so the relative happiness of a country rises above any posed smiles.’

crowncreativecommons.org/Charlie Dave

The system even managed to pinpoint the happiest location in the happiest of cities. So, if you ever lucky enough to find yourself in Belfast, be sure to check out the Parlour Bar on the city’s Elmwood Avenue. The toothy grins will be blinding, we assure you!

UK cities' happiness ranking

1. Belfast 34.29
2. Bournemouth 32.88
3. Derby 32.60
4. Exeter 32.34
5. Lincoln 31.95
6. Aberdeen 31.14
7. Glasgow 31.02
8. Colchester 30.68
9. Newcastle upon Tyne 30.43
10. Oxford 29.96
11. Coventry 29.89
12. Cardiff 29.79
13. Wolverhampton 29.65
14. Milton Keynes 28.97
15. Canterbury 28.97
16. Leeds 28.62
17. Liverpool 27.39
18. Cambridge 27.30
19. Manchester 27.20
20. Plymouth 27.18
21. Birmingham 26.95
22. Leicester 26.29
23. Portsmouth 26.20
24. Windsor 26.14
25. Reading 25.94
26. Southampton 25.86
27. Newport 25.09
28. Nottingham 24.91
29. Bristol 24.21
30. Norwich 24.07
31. Blackpool 23.96
32. York 23.44
33. Brighton 23.44
34. Sheffield 23.38
35. Newquay 22.96
36. Edinburgh 22.31
37. Luton 22.22
38. London 20.48
39. Bath 18.32
40. Salford 17.90

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