Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

What's the world's favourite number?

rexfeatures-1881671a.jpg
hero2.jpg

First of all, what's yours? Can you picture a number? Do you love the way it looks - the font gently curling around or does it evoke a sentiment or memory in your mind?

It may seem trivial but everyone has one. And now an extensive survey has found the number that is most commonly loved across the world.

And it has revealed that the world's favourite number is seven.

According to the online survey which received 44,000 entries, set up by the Guardian's maths blogger and author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, Alex Bellos, the number seven came out on top, beating three which was second most popular and number eight which came third.

Those who took the poll, found out about it online and voluntarily decided to take part in it. They were asked to nominate their favourite number and explain why they feel that way.

A 15th Century engraving of the seven sins

One 35-year-old woman from the United Stated said, "Seven is the number of stellar objects in the solar system. Seven is the number of chakras. Seven is Sunday! Seven is the calling code for Russia. Seven just feels magical!"

Another woman of the same age from the UK wrote that number seven is "a number that is growing up. It’s a bit awkward; it can’t be equally divided and won’t bend to the rules so easily!"

And one 16-year-old, from New Zealand wrote, "People, don’t usually tend to pick 7, and I like to be different".

Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

"I conducted this experiment because I am fascinated by the emotional responses many of us have to numbers," said Bellos on Favourite Number.Net, the website where the survey took place.

"As a maths communicator, I am always asked for my favourite number. Whenever I give talks – in schools, universities, festivals and corporate events – it's guaranteed this question will come up," wrote Bellos on his Guardian blog.

"At first I thought this favourite number interrogation was frivolous, a way of poking fun at me (or maths). But gradually I learned that many people have genuinely strong feelings about numbers, and this realisation prompted me to launch the survey."

David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo have both worn the number seven football shirt

He added, "The results do not have the rigour of a professional opinion poll or a laboratory experiment. Yet even so it is revealing about our number choices."

Here are the top ten numbers with the highest votes:

  1. 7
  2. 3
  3. 8
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 13
  7. 9
  8. 6
  9. 2
  10. 11

Every number between 1 and 100 was chosen and 472 numbers between 1 and 1000 were chosen. The lowest number to receive no votes was 110.

Bellos wrote, "The humiliation of 110 is an example of the most striking pattern in the data, which is that round numbers are rarely chosen as favourite numbers. Numbers ending in 0 are particularly unloved, as are numbers ending in 5 (with the exception of 5 itself)."

(Words: Sejal Kapadia, Images: Rex Features)

Related

got-1.png

The Game of Thrones sex infographic

choco-snacks-hero.png

Infographic of all your favourite chocolate bars

Pastel_Rainbow_Cake_018.jpg

How to make ten of the most impressive and creative Easter cakes

main-hero.jpg

The 'antisocial network' app that lets you avoid people

rexfeatures-397216a.jpg

How to completely erase yourself from the internet

hero.jpg

Celebrity children, all grown up: from Lourdes to Brooklyn Beckham

More

The Netflix shows you’re most likely to devour in 24 hours

You, my friend, are a ‘binge racer’

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

There’s a psychological reason you’re in love with Starbucks’ red cups

It’s not just because Christmas is coming

by Gemma Crisp
18 Oct 2017

Have a wonderfully macabre Christmas with this anti-advent calendar

Bah humbug

by Megan Murray
18 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson says this is the next big food trend

Will this steal avocado’s crown?

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

Men are supporting the #MeToo campaign by tweeting #HowIWillChange

“Guys, it’s our turn.”

by Moya Crockett
18 Oct 2017

The new sanitary towel advert finally showing RED period blood

Because what runs down your leg in the shower ain’t blue

by Amy Swales
18 Oct 2017

“France banning wolf-whistling is a good start – but it’s not enough”

We can’t kid ourselves that this kind of gesture will change women’s lives.

by Moya Crockett
18 Oct 2017

The UK's first permanent avocado restaurant is coming to London

It’s everything we avo wanted

by Megan Murray
18 Oct 2017

We really need to talk about what happened on Bake Off

We’re going to need a moment to process this

by Amy Swales
18 Oct 2017

Get free tickets to see Call Me By Your Name

17 Oct 2017