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Tears of joy and heart emojis come top as the world’s most-used emoticons of 2021

It’s been a happy year for someone at least: Tears of joy and ‘heart’ were the world’s most-used emojis of 2021

  • The laughing crying face emoji tops is 2021’s most used emoticon worldwide  
  • It is closely followed by the red heart and crying on the floor laughing emojis 
  • The data released by the Unicode Consortium found flags were the least popular


The year is wrapping up with tears of joy as the crying laughing face emoji tops the list of the world’s most used emoticon of 2021, a new report shows.

It accounted for more than 5% of all emojis used. 

The data, released by the Unicode Consortium, showed that the tears of joy face was followed by the red heart, and the emoticon depicting rolling on the floor laughing with tears. 

The thumbs up and heart-eyes emojis also made the top ten but flags, despite being the group with the most emojis, were the least used category

The laughing crying face accounted for more than 5% of all emojis used, the report showed

The laughing crying face accounted for more than 5% of all emojis used, the report showed

The thumbs up and heart-eyes emojis also made the top ten but flags, despite being the group with the most emojis, were the least used category. 

The report, released by the non-profit which digitises languages around the world, added that the world’s preferences for emojis haven’t changed dramatically since the last time it published this data in 2019. 

The tears of joy and red heart still reigned as the top two most used emoticons then too, and included largely the same top ten. 

The only 2019 top-ten which didn’t make the cut this year was the red double heart emoji.

Some emojis have also gained popularity – while the thumbs up icon was in tenth place in 2019, it was the fourth most used emoticon in 2021.

The report added that the world's preferences for emojis haven't changed dramatically since the last time it published this data in 2019

The report added that the world’s preferences for emojis haven’t changed dramatically since the last time it published this data in 2019

The report also looked at emojis by category too, finding that the rocket ship emoji topped the Transport-air subset and that the flexed bicep was used the most under Body-parts.

The results show that categories like Face-smiling and Hands were some of the most frequently used emojis along with those of plants and flowers. 

The top 100 emojis make up for 82 per cent of all emoji shared in 2021, the data found.

Interestingly, the report said that despite Covid becoming a daily talking point for most of us, only two health-related emojis cracked the top 100 used in 2021 – the hot and woozy faces. 

However, it added that health-themed emoticons were used more often in general.    

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