Is it our drinking or our vanity? Or just that we have a lot of happy tourists? Whatever the reason, West Hollywood ranks second in the nation (and the world) when it comes to posting photos on Instagram that celebrate “happy hour.”
That’s according to a study by Redfin, the real estate news and analysis company, which calculated the number of Instagram photos with the #HappyHour hashtag posted in cities and communities around the United States and in major cities overseas.
Redfin ranked West Hollywood No. 2 in terms of number of #HappyHour photos per capita posted from 2010 to 2017. WeHo had 31,470 #HappyHour photos on Instagram per hundred thousand residents in that period. Given that we’re a city with roughly 35,000 residents, that would mean the actual number for WeHo was a little more than 11,000.
So who beat WeHo? Our neighboring community, Hollywood, ranked No. 1 in the nation with 47,792 #HappyHour tags. And a WeHo-adjacent city known as Beverly Hills came in third with 22,729 per hundred thousand residents. It may be worth noting that Santa Monica ranked No. 4 with 11,993 and Glendale No. 5 with 3,214. (What does all of that say about life in L.A. County?)
Redfin also analyzed posts of #HappyHour Instagram photos around the world, although it acknowledged that the fact the hashtag is in English means it might not be as popular elsewhere as it is in the United States, where the “happy hour” concept, which today means “cheap drinks,” was born. As Redfin explains, “Since the phrase ’happy hour’ originated with the U.S. Navy (although it referred to onboard entertainment such as wrestling bouts instead of tipping back a cocktail), it’s a decidedly English term, so it’s not outrageous that English-speaking countries ranked so high.”
That said, No. 1 among the non-U.S. cities is Wan Chai in Hong Kong, with 6,016 #Happy Hour posts on Instagram per hundred thousand residents. Given its former status as a British colony, English is nearly as popular as Cantonese in Hong Kong. London is the only native-English city outside the U.S. that is in the world’s Top 15, ranking No. 14 with only 59 #HappyHour Instagram posts in seven years. Those who known London know that London drinks, so perhaps the lack of #HappyHour selfies is more of a cultural matter.
When it comes to countries, the U.S ranked No. 1 with 393 posts per hundred thousand residents in the 2010-2017 period, followed by Hong Kong with 357. And when it comes to states (and districts), Washington, D.C., ranked No. 1, with 3,970 posts per 100,000 residents (perhaps reflecting the after work celebrations of happy lobbyists and the efforts of frustrated legislators to drown their sorrows.)
When it comes to the actual number of #HappyHour posts on Instagram (not the count per capita), of course New York City, the nation’s most populous, ranks No. 1 with 132,611. But Southern California holds its own. San Diego ranks No. 3 with 30,008, Los Angeles ranks No. 9 with 23,224, and Hollywood, which isn’t (yet) its own city, ranks No. 13 with 16,440.
To do the study, Redfin scraped and analyzed over 4 million Instagram posts with the hashtag #HappyHour. Posts were pulled globally, with a date range from 2010 to 2017. Location was determined by the geotag of the post. Redfin performed a text analysis on the posts to determine the top additional hashtags associated. Analysis of the time of posting was based on the local time.