1950s most popular destination for would-be time travelers

August 13, 2013, 4:35 PM GMT+0

If they could travel back in time to any decade of the 20th century, Americans' top choice is the 1950s

Traveling in time has long been a popular subject in books and movies. While actual time travel remains only a distant possibility, new research from YouGov gives Americans the chance to travel back in time. Hypothetically speaking, that is.

When asked "If you could travel back in time, which decade of the 20th century would you most like to see?", Americans most popular choice is the 1950s, which was selected by 18% of Americans.

Also popular were the 1960s, selected by 15% of the population and and the 1980s, chosen by 13%. Least popular are the 1910s selected by 1% and the 1930s chosen by 2%. Lack of interest in these decades is unsurprising given their association with two little celebrated events: World War I and the Great Depression.

Americans' time travel preferences relate strongly with their age. 35% of those over 65 would want to return to the 1950s and 18% would want to go back to the 1960s, the decades when they would have experienced their adolescence and early adulthood.

For those 18-29 years-old, the top two choices are a mix of personal and societal nostalgia. 19% would choose the 1990s - when most of those in the age demographic were kids. 19% also would select the 1920s - a time well before they were born, but celebrated in American culture, most recently by this year's film adaptation of the Great Gatsby.

In fact, those 18-29 years old are actually more interested in the first half of the 20th century than other demographics. For the most part, Americans would prefer to travel to times after 1950, but those 18-29 are actually more interested in earlier times. 47% of those 18-29 would select a time during the first half of the 20th century and while 44% select  a time from the second half of the century.

Find the full results here.

Image: Getty