Revealed: 1957 really was the happiest year ever

25 January 2017

The University of Warwick, along with the Social Market Foundation have found that, despite illnesses such as polio, fewer utilities in most households, and post-war problems, 1957 was the happiest year of the last century for Britain and we have not been able to maintain this happiness since.

1957 - Top 10 facts

  1. #StCuthBEST opens on 27 September 1957
  2. In 1957, the year of the Queen's first televised Christmas message, there were just two TV channels
  3. Traffic jams barely existed, with only 4 million cars on the road compared to 37 million today
  4. Women made up a third of the workforce – that figure is now 46 per cent
  5. A first home cost five times the average annual wage in the 1950s, with earnings typically at £7.50 a week and houses priced at £2,000. Now, getting on the property ladder costs about eight times your salary
  6. There were just 22,000 divorces – a number which had leapt to 111,000 by 2014 – and women got married at 25 on average, but now wait until they're 34
  7. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, a satellite the size of a beach ball – 15 years before astronaut Tim Peake was born
  8. The most popular gifts for children were yo-yos and I-Spy books
  9. Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Niven and Shirley MacLaine, won the Oscar for best film
  10. Paul Anka's Diana was the best-selling single of 195

 

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The Diamond Jubilee ident voted for by the staff and students