A richer understanding of Londoners’ belonging, social isolation and views on fairness – further analysis of The Survey of Londoners
In June of this year we published the headline findings from The Survey of Londoners, a major new social survey designed to measure social integration, economic fairness and food security across the city.
The Survey provided new data on the extent of social mixing among Londoners and how these experiences are related to their sense of belonging to the city, to the local areas in which they live, and their personal wellbeing. It highlighted levels of loneliness and social isolation and how inequality is making it more difficult for Londoners to build positive relationships.
We have now completed further work to understand more the drivers of three important social integration outcomes: belonging to London; social isolation; and perceptions of whether London is a fair city.
The research involved creating a series of logistic regression models, which controlled for many demographic characteristics and social integration and economic fairness factors at once. This allowed us to ascertain if the links between, for example, age and social isolation, were significant or if they were being caused by other differences between older and younger Londoners, such as differences in their level of income or their relationship status. It also allowed us to understand whether other aspects of Londoners’ social integration, such as their participation in society, their experience of equalities issues and their economic situation, act to reinforce or to mediate their social integration outcomes.
Lending credence to the GLA’s model of social integration in which social integration is defined as being “determined by the level of equality between people, the nature of their relationships, and their degree of participation in the communities in which they live,” interacting with neighbours is found to be an important component of higher belonging, while being treated unfairly is a factor in lower belonging.
The research also finds that the groups of Londoners most at risk of social isolation include those who are not working full-time and BAME Londoners.
The research suggests that nationality and country of birth have a more important relationship with perceptions of fairness than ethnicity. The research also finds that some groups of Londoners are less likely to believe London is fair, including non-religious Londoners and older working Londoners in non-permanent roles.
Attending cultural events is found to be a positive influencer on Londoners’ belonging and social isolation, while playing sport is a positive influencer on Londoners’ perception of London as a fair city.
This report is being published to coincide with an event hosted by the Marshall Institute at LSE, ‘Social Integration and Inequality in London’. In discussion with Afua Hirsch, a writer, journalist and broadcaster, the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, will reiterate the aims of his social integration strategy published in March of last year and state why it is essential that London is a city for all of us.