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Londoners 'Satisfied With Life In The Capital'

Published:14 April 2004
Fieldwork:17-24 March 2004
Source:Commission on London Governance
Keywords:Budget, Devolution, Politics/Political
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

A recent survey for the Commission on London Governance shows that Londoners express high levels of satisfaction with living in the capital. Seven in 10 Londoners also feel that they have a different outlook to people in the rest of the country, putting this down to a faster way of life and the capital's more multicultural environment. The Capital's history and heritage as well as its cultural diversity are highly valued.

The survey shows Londoners, as well as those living outside of London but within the borders of the M25, have a strong sense of identity with the Capital. There is also strong support for London to have greater control over its affairs in line with Scotland and Wales.

Technical details

MORI surveyed a representative sample of 1,221 people by telephone between 17-24 March 2004 living in London (1,017) and outside the city but within the M25 (204). Data were weighted to reflect the population profile of those living within the M25.

Topline Results

  • Results are based on 1,221 interviews conducted by telephone with a sample of residents living in Greater London and those living outside of London and within the M25 motorway.
  • Interviews were conducted between 17th March and 24th March 2004.
  • Data are weighted by gender, age, work status, ethnicity and Inner versus Outer London and the borders of London to the known population profile.
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to multiple responses, computer rounding or the exclusion of 'don't know/not stated' response categories.
  • Where there are small bases (less than 30 respondents) responses are given in absolute figures rather than percentage answers.

Living In London

Q1 Overall how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with living in your local area? Are you…
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Very satisfied 25 23 39
Fairly satisfied 47 48 41
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 12 12 11
Fairly dissatisfied 9 9 5
Very dissatisfied 6 7 3
Don't know * * -

Q2 Overall how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with living in London/the London area? Are you…
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Very satisfied 25 25 22
Fairly satisfied 44 44 44
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 12 12 9
Fairly dissatisfied 11 11 10
Very dissatisfied 6 6 7
Don't know 2 1 9

Q3 How long have you been living in London?
Base: All respondents living in London (1,017)

  All
  %
Up to 1 year 3
Over 1 year up to 2 years 2
Over 2 years up to 5 years 7
Over 5 years up to 10 years 9
Over 10 years up to 15 years 8
Over 15 years up to 20 years 7
Over 20 years or more 28
All my life/born in London 33
Don't know/Can't remember 2

Q4 Have you ever lived in London?
Base: All respondents living inside the M25 (204)

  All
  %
Yes 57
No 43

Q5 Where were you born?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
London 42 43 32
Outside London:
South East England 10 8 27
South England 6 5 11
Midlands 5 5 7
The North 4 4 5
Wales 1 1 2
Scotland 2 2 2
Ireland 3 3 4
Outside the UK:
Europe 7 8 2
Asia 9 10 2
North America (including Caribbean) 2 2 2
South America 1 1 *
Australasia 1 1 1
Africa 7 7 4
Refused * * -

Q6 And where were your parents born?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  Mother Father
  All London Borders All London Borders
  % % % % % %
Inside London 30 30 28 28 28 33
Outside London:
South East England 7 6 14 7 6 14
South England 6 5 12 6 5 9
Midlands 4 4 8 4 4 6
The North 6 6 7 6 6 8
Wales 2 2 4 2 1 4
Scotland 2 2 2 3 3 3
Ireland 5 5 5 6 6 5
Outside the UK:
Europe 11 12 5 11 11 4
Asia 12 13 3 12 13 2
North America (including Caribbean) 2 2 2 2 2 2
South America 2 2 1 2 2 *
Australasia 1 * 2 1 1 1
Africa 8 8 2 8 9 2
Other - -        
Don't know 3 2 4 2 2 4
Refused * * * * * *

Q7 For what reasons, if any, did you move to London?
Base: All respondents not born in London (721), London (581), Borders (140)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Work reasons 43 43 42
Parents moved 19 18 25
Family reasons 17 17 12
Stayed on after university 9 9 3
Lively city 3 3 3
Education/To study 3 4 1
Refugee 3 3 1
Personal reasons 2 2 1
Better standard of living 2 2 2
Religious reasons 1 * 1
Marriage 1 1 1
Always lived here 1 1 5
Diverse communities in London * * -
Other 5 5 8

Sense Of Belonging

Q8a I am now going to read out some statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. London is a place I like living in…
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 39 41 26
Tend to Agree 34 35 30
Neither agree nor disagree 9 8 13
Tend to disagree 9 9 10
Strongly disagree 8 7 14
Don't know 1 * 6

Q8b I am now going to read out some statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. London is a place I identify with…
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 40 40 37
Tend to Agree 35 36 29
Neither agree nor disagree 9 9 8
Tend to disagree 8 8 16
Strongly disagree 6 5 9
Don't know 2 2 1

Q9 What, if anything, would you say are the two or three things that make you proud of London?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
The history/heritage 21 20 37
Cultural diversity 16 16 14
The people 13 13 10
The sights/attractions 12 11 17
Culture 10 10 12
Good public transport 8 9 3
Architecture/the buildings 8 8 13
Good shops 7 7 8
Cosmopolitan 6 7 5
Museums 6 6 7
Lots to do 4 4 2
Nightlife 4 4 3
Job opportunities/employment 4 4 *
Theatres 4 3 6
Parks/green space 4 4 2
The Royal family/Royalty 3 3 3
Galleries 3 3 3
Everything/the city as a whole 3 3 1
Easy access/central to everything 2 3 *
Entertainment 2 2 3
Facilities/amenities 2 2 1
I was born here 2 2 1
It's the capital city 2 2 2
Education/university 2 2 1
Restaurants/pubs 2 2 2
Social life/lifestyle 2 2 0
The atmosphere/buzz 1 2 0
Financial/business centre 1 1 0
Freedom/freedom of speech 1 1 1
Vibrant/lively 1 1 1
The underground/tube 1 1 1
Clean 1 1 0
The music scene 1 1 0
Hospitals/health service 1 1 *
The West End 1 1 0
The river 1 1 1
Nothing 9 9 11
Don't know 6 5 8
Other 15 16 10

Q10 What, if anything, would you say are the two or three things that you don't like about London?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Traffic/traffic congestion 23 22 31
High cost of living/too expensive 20 21 15
Crime 19 20 15
Public transport 19 18 25
Dirty 18 18 21
Overcrowded/crowds 14 13 23
Pollution 12 11 17
Rubbish/litter 12 11 14
Foreign immigrants/refugees 8 8 7
Rudeness of people 5 5 3
Congestion charge 4 4 6
Too busy 4 4 4
Underground/tube 4 4 3
Noise 3 3 4
Weather/climate 2 2 2
Parking/traffic wardens 2 2 3
Drug abuse 2 2 0
Graffiti 2 2 1
Ken Livingstone/The mayor 1 1 2
No community spirit/unfriendly 1 1 *
Anti-social behaviour 1 1 1
Beggars 1 1 1
Lack of amenities for children/young people 1 1 1
Shortage of affordable housing/high house prices 1 1 1
Education/schools 1 1 0
The health service 1 1 1
Racism 1 1 0
Homelessness 1 1 0
Threat of terrorism 1 1 1
Poor housing 1 1 *
It's too big 1 1 1
State of roads/pavement 1 1 *
Nothing 6 6 5
Don't know 2 2 2
Other 8 8 8

Being A Londoner

Q11 Which one of these, do you think best describes you?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
A Londoner 30 31 15
English 23 21 42
A British citizen 31 31 29
A European 10 10 9
None of these 6 6 5
Don't know * * 0

Q12 If you were to describe London to somebody, what words or phrases would you use?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Busy/a busy place 18 17 21
Lively/energetic/vibrant 17 17 21
Lots of places/attractions to see/visit 15 15 19
Cosmopolitan 12 11 16
Historical/lots of history 11 10 19
Lots to do 10 10 11
Interesting 10 10 14
Big/large 9 9 9
Expensive 8 8 8
Exiting 8 8 11
A fun place to be/live 7 7 5
Dirty 7 6 10
Cultural 6 6 11
A beautiful place/city 6 6 5
A nice city 6 6 5
Nice/friendly people 5 5 3
Overcrowded 4 4 4
Multi cultural 4 4 2
A great city/place 4 4 1
Lots of crime/violence 3 3 4
Lots of shops/good shops 3 2 5
The best city in the world 3 2 5
Diverse 2 2 2
Noisy/loud 2 2 2
Fast/hectic 2 2 1
Good opportunity 2 2 1
It's a dump/dull/depressing/drab 2 2 3
Good public transport 2 2 0
Capital city 2 1 3
Parks/green space 2 2 1
Great nightlife 1 2 *
Unfriendly/cold people 1 1 0
Good restaurants/eating 1 1 *
Poor public transport 1 1 0
Don't know 4 4 3
Other 17 18 11

Q13 Some people say that people in London have a different outlook to people in the rest of the country. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 38 38 40
Tend to agree 34 34 34
Neither Agree nor Disagree 4 5 4
Tend to Disagree 12 12 11
Strongly Disagree 5 6 5
Don't know 6 6 6

Q14 Why do you think people in London have a different outlook to people in the rest of the country?
Base: All who agree people in London have a different outlook (882), London (732), Borders (150)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Life is faster/busier/always in a rush 23 23 21
It's a different way of life 16 16 22
Its multicultural 16 16 14
They are not as friendly/they keep themselves to themselves 7 7 9
They think they are more superior 7 7 9
Its cosmopolitan 6 6 9
Higher cost of living 5 5 6
They are money oriented/have more money 5 5 9
Broader/less narrow minded/more open minded 3 3 2
It's the capital city 3 3 3
Everything happens in London 3 3 3
It's a big place 3 3 2
More facilities available 2 2 3
They are used to bigger salaries 2 2 2
People work harder/longer hours 2 2 3
They are nicer people 2 2 1
They do more commuting/travel further to work 1 1 2
They are not racist/less racist 1 1 -
Relaxed/laid back 1 1 -
Cultural 1 1 -
It's a city 1 1 1
Don't know 8 8 5
Other 18 18 14

Q15a I am now going to read out a number of different statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. London, like Scotland and Wales, should have greater control over its affairs.
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 42 43 33
Tend to agree 29 29 29
Neither Agree nor Disagree 10 10 9
Tend to Disagree 10 9 16
Strongly Disagree 4 4 9
Don't know 6 6 4

Q15b I am now going to read out a number of different statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. I would be happier about the taxes I pay to the Government if more were spent on improving public services for all Londoners.
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 57 58 53
Tend to agree 25 25 23
Neither Agree nor Disagree 6 6 5
Tend to Disagree 6 6 8
Strongly Disagree 4 3 7
Don't know 2 2 3

Q16 At the moment the Government spends less in London than it collects in taxes from London's businesses and residents, and spends the rest on other areas of the country. Some people believe that London should receive more of the money it contributes while others believe that other regions across the UK need the money more. Which of the following comes closest to your view?
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
London should receive more of the money it contributes to Government than it does at the moment 58 60 45
The amount of money London receives at the moment should stay the same 28 26 38
London should receive less of the money it contributes to Government than it does at the moment 6 6 9
Don't know 8 8 8

Boundaries

Q17a I am now going to read out a number of different statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. The M25 seems like the natural boundary of London.
Base: Q19A Half of sample (609)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 34 33 37
Tend to agree 33 33 33
Neither Agree nor Disagree 7 7 7
Tend to Disagree 12 12 11
Strongly Disagree 4 4 9
Don't know 10 11 4

Q17b I am now going to read out a number of different statements. I would like you to tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. The M25 seems like the natural boundary of London, even though it includes part of different council areas.
Base: Q19A Half of sample (612)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Strongly agree 32 32 36
Tend to agree 34 35 23
Neither Agree nor Disagree 8 8 8
Tend to Disagree 13 12 20
Strongly Disagree 4 3 12
Don't know 9 10 2

Activities In London

Q18a I am going to read out a list of activities that you may or may not have done in the past 4 weeks. For each of them, I'd like you to tell me where you did them. Was it local to your home, in Central London, somewhere else in London, outside of London or not at all? Gone to work
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Local 31 31 34
Central London 22 23 15
Elsewhere in London 7 7 7
Out of London 7 6 14
Did not do activity 36 36 37
Don't Know 1 1 1

Q18b I am going to read out a list of activities that you may or may not have done in the past 4 weeks. For each of them, I'd like you to tell me where you did them. Was it local to your home, in Central London, somewhere else in London, outside of London or not at all? Shopped for pleasure
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Local 55 56 53
Central London 26 28 12
Elsewhere in London 8 8 6
Out of London 11 9 26
Did not do activity 12 12 13
Don't Know * * 1

Q18c I am going to read out a list of activities that you may or may not have done in the past 4 weeks. For each of them, I'd like you to tell me where you did them. Was it local to your home, in Central London, somewhere else in London, outside of London or not at all? To socialise/to be entertained
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Local 56 57 55
Central London 34 35 23
Elsewhere in London 7 7 9
Out of London 10 8 22
Did not do activity 12 12 9
Don't Know * * -

Q18d I am going to read out a list of activities that you may or may not have done in the past 4 weeks. For each of them, I'd like you to tell me where you did them. Was it local to your home, in Central London, somewhere else in London, outside of London or not at all? To worship
Base: All respondents (1,221), London (1,017), Borders (204)

  All London Borders
  % % %
Local 31 32 23
Central London 4 5 2
Elsewhere in London 1 1 3
Out of London 2 2 10
Did not do activity 60 60 62
Don't Know 1 1 1
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Client



Kelly Flynn
Senior Press Officer
Commission on London Governance
t: 020 7983 4067
w: www.london.gov.uk/assembly/scrutiny/london_gov.jsp

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