Believe it or not, there is a lot of interesting statistical information that can be gathered by user’s Google searches. In fact, your searches on the popular search engine are gathered every year to form a “Future Orientation Index” to rank countries by how forward-looking their citizens are. Countries with more people searching Google for events in the future are considered forward-thinkers, and while the number of those countries increased in 2012, there is still a much larger amount of people looking back to the past.
In 2012, Germany made it to the top of the “Future Orientation Index”, up from 4th place in 2011 and the United States moved up from 15th to 11th. A lot of this movement tends to come from events that take place in the coming year in each country. For example, in 2011 the United Kingdom was number 1 on the list most likely due to its citizens looking forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Dr. Suzy Moat, one of the leaders of the “Future Orientation Index” believes that “a greater focus on the future when making decisions may support economic success,” and that Germany may be at the top of the latest list as the country heads into their national election season this year. As for the United States, one could conclude that the recent rise may have to do with American sentiment of the economic future rebounding.
The “Future Orientation Index” is an interesting study, and while the motives behind each user’s search can’t be fully known, it gives an overall idea of the forward or back-looking views of citizens around the world.
Images by Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis