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Most-used emoji revealed: Americans love skulls, Brazilians love cats, the French love hearts

21st April 2015

Ever wondered what your emoji say about you? Or how different nationality use emoji differently, from the United States to France to Turkey? Can you guess what nationality leads the world in use of the beer emoji? And what type of emoji is used by French speakers four times more than any other language?

We’ve analyzed more than 1bn pieces of data to create the definitive assessment of how you use emoji – and what it says about you.

Here’s what we discovered:

  • Canadians score highest for the poop emoji compared to other countries/regions
  • Canadians also score highest in emoji categories you might typically think of as ‘all-American’ (money, raunchy, violent, sports)
  • The French use four times as many heart emoji than other languages, and it’s the only language for which a ‘smiley’ is not #1
  • Arabic speakers use flowers and plants emoji 4X more than average
  • Russian speakers are the biggest romantics, using three times as much romance-themed emoji than the average
  • Australia is the land of vices and indulgence according to the emoji data, using double the average amount of alcohol-themed emoji, 65% more drug emoji than average and leading for both junk food and holiday emoji
  • Judging by their use of emoji, Americans are the most LGBT, using these emojis more than others
  • Americans also lead for a random assortment of emoji & categories, including skulls, birthday cake, fire, tech, meat and female-oriented emoji


We tapped into the SwiftKey Cloud vaults and analyzed more than a billion emoji used by speakers of 16 languages around the world to learn how people around the world use our favorite little icons in SwiftKey’s first emoji report.

The graph below shows you which emoji are overall most popular – you’ll be pleased to see ‘happy faces’ win over ‘sad faces’. Hearts, hand gestures and romance round out the top 5, followed by a range of categories that account for less than 2% of all emoji each.


Enjoy using emoji on your iPhone or Android? Upgrade your typing experience with SwiftKey Keyboard for Android or iPhone – free. 

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While there are different ways to interpret emoji meanings, there were a few… interesting trends we noticed related to “particular” fruits, vegetables an an assortment of other emoji, as characterized in the following graph. We also discovered that – ahem – Canadians are twice as raunchy as all other languages according to their emoji usage.


SwiftKey Keyboard apps upgrade your keyboard, replacing your on-screen keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. The findings come from an analysis of aggregate SwiftKey Cloud data, an opt-in service offering backup and sync of your language insights, which we occasionally analyze for pertinent trends, as well as to make sure SwiftKey’s predictions are as accurate as possible. You can learn more about SwiftKey Cloud here.

Update: It seems you love emoji data science as much as we do as this report has become a huge hit! So far the SwiftKey emoji report has been covered by the likes of the Guardian, Mail Online, Mashable,, The Atlantic, Bustle and more…

Read the full SwiftKey Emoji Report by SwiftKey below – and join in the discussion about your country/region’s use of emoji on Facebook and Twitter!

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Read more:

:: What is SwiftKey Keyboard?

:: Revealed – the tech helping Stephen Hawking speak and type

40 responses to “Most-used emoji revealed: Americans love skulls, Brazilians love cats, the French love hearts”

  1. Louis says:

    Big data applied on emojis, great work!

  2. Erika says:

    Keyboard is so outdated on sound. Why can’t this keyboard, like themes have other sounds to chose. Also the font, wish it has BIGER fonts, or resizable, not just the keyboard but the actual fonts. Love the sound and size font on the flesky keyboard. . These are the 2 things swiftkey have NEVER change or up dated. All it need for perfection. …

  3. Daniel Solin says:

    This is a off-topic comment! I really mean it – off-topic!!!

  4. Alexandria says:

    This was actually a really entertaining read! It’s pretty reassuring to know that Canadians are perverts like the rest of us.

  5. Morgan Lockhart says:

    I love the French and their use of the heart emoji. <33

  6. Pikachu says:

    Nice job with the emoji use statistics. It has broadened my view greatly.
    The results are interesting.

  7. Brea Scott says:

    I really want text replacement as a thing.

  8. Stephen Lella says:

    I’m not sure why, but I love this article. Can you take this data and figure out which emoji have the best ROI?

  9. Scott Dallas says:

    I was entertained with this until I realized if you can track emoji, you probably have our passwords!

  10. John Williams says:

    I’m in the UK. We seem to have been ignored in the survey. Personally I use the bizarre animals, like the chickens, frogs, koalas etc. Also the sweaty blue blobby heads. What are they supposed to mean?

  11. Oscar Tejada says:

    Thanks for letting us know you are monitoring our conversations!!! That was comforting

  12. Derek Whitten says:

    Is there any way for us to view our own individual data? A bit like the keyboard heat map, it’d be interesting to take a look and see what our personal Top 10 emoji are!

  13. Mantas says:

    I felt offended in a way. Maybe it’s because we’re assumimg… anyways – – not every country was listed. Yes, I live in a small country and honestly I don’t use emoji. It’s just dumb to me. The article has a good idea, but I’m still not happy knowing you track our habits and send emails like “We all know who they are – Canadians”, like we’re all American. I had to get this off my chest…

  14. R Holtslander says:

    This was interesting. I don’t use emojis per se. I will type 🙂 or 😉 which is turned into an emoji, of course, but that’s the extent of it. I’m almost 50 so maybe that’s part of it but my mother (almost 80) uses them extensively. She is Canadian but uses a lot of hearts and smileys etc; I have never seen her use a money, violent, sport or poop one however.

  15. Per Lauge Buresø Holst says:

    The link to the data (page 19) points to page 19 of the report.

    If there is this cultural divide in the use of emoticons, how can you tell that the emoticons mean in the specific language, what it means in English? Some hand gestures are innocent in the Western world, but not in the Arabic world.

    Interesting report nonetheless 🙂

  16. Souvik maji says:

    So swiftkey is collecting whatever we are typing? Everyone should be scared, not entertained.

  17. Salmane says:


    Here I am, this morning, reading your email about Canadian using eggplants… Just last month I suggested using the eggplant as an euphemism for large penises in conversations with friends.

    I felt personally targeted by your email. LOL

  18. lucoweb says:

    we Brazilians rather like cats, but that’s also a slang 😉

    gato (“male cat”) means “cute boy”.
    gata (“female cat”) means “cute girl”.

    fiquem espertos!

  19. Eric Michael Moran says:

    Interesting move SwiftKey. Your report reveals to the world that you save everything your users type. Is the opt-in a default setting in the app?

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