People in Hemel Hempstead among those most likely to have gotten married during lockdown - according to Google

Lockdown Living: The life milestones that we were most and least likely to reach during lockdown

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Monday, 15th February 2021, 9:40 am

During what will probably go down as one of the worst years in living memory people around the world were forced to put their lives on hold, but which major life milestones were we most and least likely to reach in 2020?

To see to just what extent the pandemic impacted our everyday lives, as well as our short-term and longterm plans, MoneySupermarket used data from Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to find which of life's significant events people have been searching for the most.

They found that Hemel Hempstead had among the highest number of wedding-related search terms such as cheap wedding dresses, wedding invitation ideas, wedding venues near me per 1,000 residents.

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The town also came third in the places most likely to have started their own business during lockdown.

After identifying nine significant events that people will likely experience during their lifetime, Moneysupermarket created a list of more than 2,000 keywords that anyone who had recently or were planning to tick off one of those milestones might search for - for example, diamond engagement rings, best mortgage deals, morning sickness relief.

They then reduced the list to the search terms that best represented searcher intent, and used Google Trends to find the average search interest in each search term between March 23, and October 2020, and for the same period in 2019.

Using Google Keyword Planner, they found the average number of monthly searches for each group of keywords in major towns and cities between April and October 2020 and multiplied by the number of months to find the overall figure for this time period.

Using ONS population estimates, they calculated the total number of searches per 1,000 people for each keyword group to find, on balance, the areas that were most likely to have achieved each milestone based on their search habits.

Most likely to have gotten married

1. Mansfield - East Midlands

2. Chatham - South East

3. Huddersfield - Yorkshire and the Humber

4. Derry/Londonderry - Northern Ireland

5. Hemel Hempstead - East

Most likely to have started a business

1. Worcester - West Midlands

2. Harlow - East

3. Hemel Hempstead - East

4. Watford - East

5. Slough - South East.

Neal Cross, life insurance expert at Moneysupermarket commented: “2020 has been a difficult year, and between having to cancel weddings, trips and gathering with friends and family, it’s easy to think of the things we didn’t achieve this year.

"However, for some, 2020 will be the year that they started a family, moved into their dream home or met the person that they want to spend the rest of their lives with.

“So while this year has been tough, we wanted to end it on a more positive note by looking at the most common major life events that changed people’s lives for the better in 2020.”