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How do perceptions of society compare between London and Europe?

The recently released European Quality of Life survey reveals a fascinating picture of how Londoners view their lives and society, and enables a comparison with other places in Europe. It is possible to compare London with other regions in Europe (called NUTS1 areas). The survey examines both objective and subjective aspects of quality of life, covering topics such as volunteering, community relations, trust in society, public services ratings, well-being, health, wealth and poverty, housing, and skills and employment.

The survey by Eurofound is carried out every four years and covers adults aged 18 and over. A report and data tables analysing some of the key results from the 2010/11 survey is available to read on the London Datastore.

Some of the London related highlights from that report show that:

  1. Londoners are more likely to volunteer than the European average, but almost a third said they want to volunteer more.
  2. Almost nine out of ten Londoners feel there is at least some tension between rich and poor, and over a quarter of Londoners do not feel close to the people they live around. This is the highest in Europe, with the ‘rest of the UK’ ranked third.
  3. Londoners generally trust society slightly more than the European average but slightly less than the rest of the UK. The police are the most trusted part of society, while the press are trusted the least.
  4. London’s transport system receives the highest rating score of any public service, while the lowest was childcare.
  5. One in 13 Londoners feel life is not worthwhile, and 13.6% feel left out of society – both these figures are above the rest of UK and European averages.
  6. Londoners are more likely to take part in sports or physical exercise at least once a month (57.7%) compared with the rest of the UK or the European average.
  7. Londoners suffer less from material deprivation than the European average but are more at risk of being in poverty, indicating that even those in poverty are generally able to afford more material items than the European average.
  8. London households are more likely to have problems with the quality of their housing compared with the European average, and more likely to have a problem with affording their current home with 8.7% of households saying they are likely to move in the next 6 months because they can no longer afford it.
  9. Londoners are significantly more likely than the European average and people from the rest of the UK to use the internet at least once a month, other than at work.
  10. Londoners are less satisfied than average with their job, ranking 27th out of 35 countries.