Renters least likely to trust their neighbours and feel a sense of community
21 March 2018
| Tags: Community
, social cohesion
A new report from the National Centre for Social Research has found that whilst 54% of British homeowners say that they feel a strong sense of community; this figure is 38% among those in the private rented sector.
The report, called “Fragmented Communities?”, examines attitudes to community cohesion and neighbourliness. Researchers questioned a representative sample of more 1,100 British adults aged 18 or over via the NatCen panel.
Would you leave your keys with a neighbour?
Overall, 63% of people said they would be fairly or very comfortable leaving their keys with a neighbour. Those over 65 were most likely to fall into this camp (at 82%), and at 72%, those who owned their own home were also more likely to trust their neighbours in this way. This is in contrast to those in the private rented sector, of whom 43% would feel comfortable leaving their keys with a neighbour.
Similarly, 21% of private renters report borrowing and exchanging things with neighbours, compared to 41% of owner-occupiers.
How often do you talk to your neighbours?
86% of homeowners report greeting our neighbours at least once a week, and 59% even go as far as having a conversation. However, once again, those in the private rented sector don’t feel connected with their neighbours in this way, with 39% having a chat with a neighbour at least once a week.
29% of people report having volunteered locally in the last 12 months, whilst in the same time frame, 39% had attended a community celebration and 33% had visited a community centre.
The report found that having a child makes people significantly more likely to attend celebrations or visit community centres, and that retirees were most likely to get involved in local volunteering.
Those in the private rented sector were least likely to get involved in these kinds of community activities. 23% of them had visited a community centre in the last 12 months, compared to 36% of homeowners.
Kirby Swales, Director of Survey Research at NatCen said, ‘This report highlights that there are important variations in community cohesion across Great Britain. Most people trust their neighbours and feel people get along, but a significant minority are much more disengaged, especially amongst some specific groups like private renters.'