Research published today demonstrates how searches about the future have a strong link to economic success.
They found that countries where “Internet users … search for more information about the future tend to have a higher per-capita GDP,” says Preis, who created a stir in 2010 when he used a similar data-crunching approach to quantify and model stock price fluctuations of companies on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. “The more a country is looking forward, the more successful economically the country is.”
Of everyone, Germans are the most forward-looking, knocking Britons from the top spot. Preis explained that the U.K. scored so highly a year earlier because of the high anticipation around the Olympics. This year, the Germans are looking forward to a pivotal federal election.
Interestingly, the U.S. ranks 11th, up from 15th a year earlier. The 2012 findings showed that entering an election year, more Americans were looking backward to 2010. This year, Americans as a whole are more optimistic about 2013 than they were a year earlier, Preis says.
What Google Searches About the Future Tell Us About the Present