Residents of built up commuter and ‘affluent’ towns, particularly those living in London, are the most satisfied with where they live, according to new research.
A new study from the think tank Demos has mapped people’s satisfaction with their local areas by measuring people’s priorities against how they rate actual provision, on issues linked to the practical necessities of daily life such as housing, transport, internet access and shopping.
Commissioned by Legal & General, the survey of a nationally representative poll of 20,000 adults found that despite a strongly stated desire for green space and nature, built up areas see the highest level of Place Satisfaction, while rural areas typically see poorer satisfaction levels.
According to the findings, places in London, Scotland, the West Midlands and the North of England rate the highest on the Place Satisfaction Index as the country’s most satisfied residents.
However, constituencies in London dominate the top five positions in the Index. These are Hackney North & Stoke Newington, Islington North, Islington South and Finsbury, Hackney South and Shoreditch, and Streatham.
The constituencies that rank in the bottom five are Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Ealing North, Hemsworth, North East Cambridgeshire, and Gravesham.
Kitty Ussher, chief economic advisor at Demos and co-author of the report, said: ‘The places we live shape so much of what we do and how we live our lives, even more so during the last year. But up until now, it’s often been unclear how people’s priorities compare to their views on the quality of provision in their local area.
‘The Place Satisfaction Index that lies at the heart of this research is an innovative public policy experiment where we not only see this for the first time, but can explore how it differs across so many different places across the country.
‘The Index shows that some locations are better than others in meeting people’s routine needs and priorities. In particular it shows the importance of good quality shops and access to fresh air and nature in our daily lives. We also unearth, as part of this, that the suburbs built for twentieth-century living may no longer be providing what people now say they want. Additionally, for some, inadequate public transport contributes to a sense of being ‘stuck’ in a place that doesn’t work for them.
Ms Ussher added: ‘As the Government considers how best to deploy the £4bn levelling-up fund in England, it should take notice of these results and use our granular location-based data to help create stronger locations across the country in support of everyday British life.’
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