With so many colors in the world around us, you might expect there to be plenty of variation among the hues that we select as our favorite. Of course, your preference may change over time, but one color in particular appears to be the most popular globally. Due in part to our preference for colors that evoke the natural world, blue seems to be the world's most popular “favorite color.”
For example, in a 2021 survey conducted by Censuswide, 2,031 Americans were asked what their favorite color was. The survey revealed that 39 out of 50 US states selected blue. Purple came in second place, while green came in third (incidentally, beige was last). When respondents were asked why they preferred a certain color, the majority said that it was their favorite during childhood or that it made them feel happy or calm.
Color preference surveys in other countries have resulted in similar findings. In fact, blue has dominated color surveys since they were first conducted in the 1800s.
Research has found that our experiences influence the way we interpret color. Blue hues, often associated with nature, are linked with positive images such as clear blue skies and gentle ocean waves. Color is also connected to how we feel, think, and behave. Blue, for example, is typically associated with feelings of serenity and peace. Not surprisingly, blue and green are particularly popular colors in interior design because of their restful and calming hues.
Got a favorite?
- Interestingly, our favorite colors tend to darken as we age. When we’re young, we often gravitate towards bright, vibrant colors.
- One study found that our color preferences can change with the seasons, especially during autumn, when respondents showed a significant increase in their enjoyment of red and orange hues.
- Dark yellowish-brown is an almost universally disliked color, perhaps because of its association with waste or rotten food.
- Studies have found that the colors associated with a college or sports team can influence how someone perceives a certain hue. The more a person values their alma mater or favorite sports team, the more favorable the associated colors become to that person.
- Interestingly, Japan is one of the few countries where white regularly ranks among the most popular colors.
- Crayola has conducted numerous "favorite color" polls among U.S. children. In a 1993 poll, four shades of blue made the top 10. In 2000, there were seven shades of blue in the top 10, along with pink, green, and purple.