1957 declared as Britain’s happiest year of the last century
- Credit: Archant
Harold Macmillan's 1957 declaration that Britons had 'never had it so good' appears to have been true as research has revealed that it was the happiest year of the 20th century.
Scientists at the University of Warwick used an algorithm to measure the nation's happiness in every year since 1776, through the use of eight million books, and found that other than a period in the nineteenth century, the British people have never been happier than they were in 1957.
The algorithm detects the happiness of the country at any time in history by analysing the frequency of positive words such as 'peaceful' and 'enjoyment' compared to negative words such as 'stress' and 'unhappy'.
The research found that despite the fact people worked longer hours than they do now and many people did not have central heating, there was a sense amongst the nation in 1957 that things were getting better in the country following the end of the Second World War.
It also showed a rise in happiness after 1945, a fall through the nationwide strikes and inflation of 1978's Winter of Discontent, and then a recovery but happiness levels have never reached the heights the 1950s.
You may also want to watch:
10 things which happened in 1957
• Norwich City Council became the first British local authority to install a computer with the delivery of a Elliot 405.
- 1 Famous Norwich firm locked in legal battle with Red Bull
- 2 'I couldn't believe my eyes' - snorkeller finds 125-year-old shipwreck
- 3 End of an era as cafe owner hangs up apron after 26 years
- 4 Location revealed for new major music festival with '90s flavour'
- 5 Huge village home with indoor swimming pool for sale for £1.2m
- 6 Former teacher who abused young boys handed 25-year sentence
- 7 Do you recognise this man?
- 8 Norfolk beach ranked among world's top tourist attractions
- 9 Huge Christmas market returning to Norfolk Showground for 2021
- 10 Bus services to be cancelled and changed amid driver shortage
• End of petrol rationing following the Suez Crisis.
• USSR launched Sputnik I, the world's first artificial Earth satellite.
• The 'Toddlers' Truce', a controversial television closedown between 6pm and 7pm so children could be put to bed, was abolished.
• The first Premium Bond winners were selected by the computer ERNIE.
• Publication of the Wolfenden report recommended that 'homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence'.
• The government unveils plans which will allow women to join the House of Lords for the first time.
• Future members of The Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, first meet as teenagers at a garden fete in Liverpool.
• Harry Belafonte reached Christmas number one with the song Mary's Boy Child.
• The Royal Christmas Message is broadcast on television with the Queen on camera for the first time.
What is your favourite year in history? Let us know by commenting below.