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Fragmented communities?

The role of cohesion, community involvement and social mixing

Crowd at train station
Published: March 2018

Is there still a strong sense of community spirit and community cohesion in 21st century Britain? Our new analysis examines the issue in depth.

Aims

  • To assess the level and pattern of community cohesion in Great Britain, approaching the topic from three perspectives: attitudes to the local community, objective indicators of community involvement, and social mixing
  • To explore the main drivers of community cohesion.

Read the full report.

 

Key findings

  • About half of British adults agreed that they have a strong sense of community, while a quarter disagreed. (Overall, about a quarter of people were very positive about their community in all regards.)
  • 63% of respondents felt 'very' or 'fairly' comfortable asking a neighbour to keep a set of keys for them - although 37% felt very or fairly uncomfortable with the idea.
  • 83% of respondents reported greeting their neighbours at least once a week, while 53% actively spoke to their neighbours.
  • Three factors were found to have a direct relationship with cohesion: urban areas with higher levels of deprivation and a higher proportion of local population from a non-white ethnic background were negatively related to community cohesion, while 'neighbourliness' and socio-economic privilege (having a degree, higher income, and being in a managerial or professorial occupation) were positively related.

 

Methodology

Our analysis was taken from new questions placed on the March 2017 NatCen Panel survey, and from new analysis of the 2016/17 Community Life Survey.

Read the report