By Simon Nguyen
1) Popularity Index
The fall season is known for its beautiful scenery, pleasant weather and back to school. These factors certainly explain why autumn is the most popular season in our popularity index (1.45), far surpassing the other three. Fall receives its highest support in the United States (1.75), where it marks the beginning of the professional sport season and generally features good weather. Fall is also very popular in neighboring Canada.
Ranked second in our popularity index (0.94) is the summer season. Of the four seasons, summer is the only one to receive high support in all six major continents. The fact that most students are off from school in the summer and people are taking their well-deserved vacation appears to make the unpleasant heat forgettable.
Winter is the third most popular season in our popularity index (0.83). Plagued with brutal snowstorms and freezing weather, winter fares poorly in most regions of the world with a few interesting exceptions. Winter is extremely popular in Pakistan, India, New Zealand, the Philippines and Australia - places where winter is nonexistent. As most people from these countries probably have never experienced winter, they are completely smitten with it and wish to learn more about the season.
The least popular season, according to our index, is spring (.78). Although the season is known for its beautiful flowers, it is also notorious for violent weather including tornadoes and flooding. Like winter, spring is popular in regions with perpetual summer.
2) Focus Group
I had the privilege of holding a discussion with 13 individuals from 8 different countries (United States, Philippines, Australia, India, Pakistan, UK, Sweden) about their favorite seasons. The results were mostly in line with my popularity index. Autumn was the group's favorite season, earning 46 percent of the votes. The participants praised the fall season for its pleasant weather and myriad of beautiful colors. With autumn, there was a sense of romanticism. Also aligned with my empirical model was the fact people who came from a country with year-round warm climate such as India and the Philippines preferred winter over the other seasons.