The Selfiest Cities in the World: TIME's Definitive Ranking

Makati City, known as the financial center of the Philippines, can now boast another distinction: It is the Selfie Capital of the World.

An examination of hundreds of thousands of selfies—the low-fi, self-shot photographs that are intensely popular among younger social media users—suggests that the city, part of metropolitan Manila and home to 500,000 people, produces more selfies per capita than any other city in the world.

To investigate the geography of selfie-taking, TIME built a database of more than 400,000 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates. In total, we ranked 459 cities to determine the selfiest places on earth. Fear not Manhattan and Miami, you’re up there.

Want to see if your city ranks? Mouse over the dots above.

For the top 100 selfiest cities in the world, our rankings are below. Each yellow dot in the maps of the ten cities where selfies are most popular represents one selfie taken recently over the course of a ten-day period. Cities near one another were combined on this list. For more information on how the rankings were built, read our explanation posted below the rankings.
Designed by Alexander Ho.

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines
258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Selfiest Cities: Makati City and Pasig City

2. Manhattan, N.Y.
202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

manhattan

3. Miami, Fla.
155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

miami

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif.
147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

anaheim

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

petalingjaya

6. Tel Aviv, Israel
139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

telaviv

7. Manchester, England
114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

manchester

8. Milan, Italy
108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

milan

9. Cebu City, Philippines
99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

cebucity

10. George Town, Malaysia
95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

georgetown

11. San Francisco, US: 91 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
12. Oslo, NO: 89 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
13. Boston, US: 88 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
14. Newark, US: 84 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
15. Honolulu, US: 82 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
16. Baguio, PH: 82 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
17. Paris, FR: 80 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
18. Denpasar, ID: 75 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
19. Leeds, GB: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
20. Las Vegas, US: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
21. Kuala Lumpur, MY: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
22. Firenze, IT: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
23. Copenhagen, DK: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
24. Helsinki, FI: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
25. Washington, D. C., US: 66 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
26. Cardiff, GB: 66 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
27. Oakland, US: 64 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
28. Amsterdam, NL: 64 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
29. Belfast, GB: 61 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
30. Bologna, IT: 61 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
31. Liverpool, GB: 58 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
32. Portland, US: 56 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
33. Lisbon, PT: 56 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
34. Atlanta, US: 55 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
35. Riverside, US: 55 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
36. New Orleans, US: 54 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
37. Glasgow, GB: 54 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
38. Leicester, GB: 53 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
39. Auckland, NZ: 53 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
40. Monterrey, MX: 52 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
41. Seattle, US: 52 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
42. Doha, QA: 52 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
43. Yogyakarta, ID: 51 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
44. Mueang Nonthaburi, TH: 50 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
45. Coventry, GB: 50 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
46. Edinburgh, GB: 50 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
47. Malmoe, SE: 50 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
48. Bari, IT: 49 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
49. Bristol, GB: 49 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
50. Johor Bahru, MY: 48 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
51. Sheffield, GB: 47 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
52. Napoli, IT: 46 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
53. Singapore, SG: 46 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
54. Athens, GR: 46 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
55. Stoke-on-Trent, GB: 46 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
56. Stockholm, SE: 45 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
57. Minneapolis, US: 45 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
58. Brooklyn, US: 44 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
59. Quezon City, PH: 44 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
60. Pittsburgh, US: 42 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
61. Bradford, GB: 42 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
62. San Jose, CR: 41 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
63. Dubai, AE: 41 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
64. Goeteborg, SE: 39 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
65. Adapazari, TR: 39 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
66. Wolverhampton, GB: 39 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
67. Dublin, IE: 39 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
68. Barcelona, ES: 38 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
69. Rome, IT: 38 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
70. Utrecht, NL: 38 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
71. Panama, PA: 37 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
72. Iloilo, PH: 36 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
73. Thessaloniki, GR: 36 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
74. Hull, GB: 36 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
75. Tampa, US: 36 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
76. Sacramento, US: 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
77. Denver, US: 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
78. Belgrade, RS: 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
79. Zurich, CH: 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
80. Eskisehir, TR: 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
81. Victoria, CA: 34 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
82. San Diego, US: 34 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
83. Catania, IT: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
84. Turin, IT: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
85. Carapicuiba, BR: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
86. Poznan, PL: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
87. Abu Dhabi, AE: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
88. Bandung, ID: 33 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
89. Borough of Bronx, US: 32 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
90. Austin, US: 32 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
91. San Jose, US: 32 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
92. Sharjah, AE: 32 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
93. London, GB: 32 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
94. Bakersfield, US: 31 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
95. Staten Island, US: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
96. Vitoria, BR: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
97. San Juan, PR: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
98. Edmonton, CA: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
99. Birmingham, GB: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
100. Nice, FR: 30 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Methodology

The photos were downloaded from the Instagram API in two sets of five days: from Jan. 28-Feb.2, 2014 and Mar. 3-7, 2014. Each day’s data consists of the 24-hour period from midnight to midnight to account for all time zones equally. During that time, 402,197 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates. That only accounts for a fraction of all selfies uploaded during that time since the majority of photos do not include a location. Of this sample, 28 percent came from the United States.

For every city in the world of at least 250,000 residents, we then counted the number of selfies taken within 5 miles and divided by the population of that city.

While the metric of “people who take selfies per capita” is far from a perfect measure, it was far and away the most comprehensive means of comparing the 459 world cities that turned up at least 25 individual users in the database. Of course, this measure bakes in more variables than just a penchant for selfies, such as smart phone adoption rates and median income. As such, this list tends to favor regions just outside major urban areas.

Not all photos tagged as “selfie” are in fact selfies. Informal tests that we ran on our dataset using out-of-the-box facial detection algorithms found that the vast majority of the photos were of a single person. We also made several attempts to find international versions of the word “selfie,” but none of the suggested translations showed up in any appreciable volume.

The list of world cities and their populations comes from the GeoNames database. In almost all cases, cities were limited to municipalities as opposed to culturally defined population centers.

Photos were then matched to cities using a simple “nearest neighbor” algorithm that found the nearest city with at least 250,000 residents. This means that, even within the fairly tight radius of 5 miles from the center of a city, some photos are counted which were not physically taken in that city. (See the map of Manhattan, for instance, which includes a small sliver of New Jersey.) All of our tests suggested this was an acceptable tradeoff for the speed of this method of geocoding, which also serves to group the innermost suburbs with the city that they surround.

The data is not being permanently stored on TIME’s servers, in accordance with Instagram’s terms of service.

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