Three-quarters think Britain has become less neighbourly

Three-quarters believe Britain has become less neighbourly… and it may be because of our bad parking!

The author(s)

  • Hannah Millard PR Manager
  • Kully Kaur-Ballagan Public Affairs
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Quiz: What do Britons least like about their neighbours? Complete our fun quiz before you read our survey results below!




A new omnibus survey by Ipsos MORI finds that parking and noise are Britons’ biggest pet peeves about their neighbours.  Three in ten people (28%) say that selfish parking and noise are what they least like about their neighbours, whilst 13% of people say what they least like about their neighbours is their children! Building work causes fewer issues (6%). Londoners differ in their irritants, caring less about selfish parking than other places (21%) and more about noise from neighbours (38% vs. 28% average).

Majority of people think we are becoming less neighbourly

Seven in ten (72%) people believe that Britain has become less neighbourly in the last two decades. 

Despite that, two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed say they speak to their neighbours at least once a month, with three in ten (31%) speaking to them once or twice a week. 

Older people are more likely to chat to their neighbours frequently, with 56% of 55-75 year olds talking at least once a week compared to just 28% of 16-24 year olds. 

Neighbours matter when it comes to buying a house 

While not everyone speaks to their neighbours very often, neighbours do have a big impact on choosing where to live. Three-quarters (75%) say they think about the impact potential neighbours might have on their life when choosing a new home. Older people are much more likely to take this into consideration than younger people; 33% of over-55s think about this to a great extent, compared with only 13% of 16-24s. 

Would you borrow a cup of sugar?

Only a quarter (24%) say they generally borrow things or exchange favours with their neighbours. Parents are more likely to do so than those without children (35% vs. 24% respectively).  However, younger generations are the most likely of all age groups to borrow things from their neighbours, with 32% of 16-34 year olds saying they had done so in the last year compared with just 18% of 55-75 year olds. 

Older people are more likely to feel comfortable entrusting things with their neighbours than younger people.  Just over half (56%) of over 55s would feel very comfortable leaving neighbours with a set of keys compared with 37% of 16-24s. In general, people are more willing to allow their neighbours to take delivery of their packages (44% are very comfortable with this) than keep a set of keys (23%), look after pets (18%) or look after children (15%). 

Kully Kaur-Ballagan, Director Ipsos MORI, says:

Neighbours have a huge impact on our quality of life and a significant minority of Brits get annoyed by parking issues and noisy neighbours. However, while the majority of the public believes that Brits have become less neighbourly over the last two years, complaints about neighbours are not new, and the survey reveals most of us do talk to our neighbours at least once a month - although this falls when it comes to more frequent conversation. As other research has shown it is older people who are more likely to talk to their neighbours - which may reflect how long they have lived in their area – although younger people are more likely to borrow things and exchange favours.

Notes to editors:

  • The research was conducted on i:omnibus, Ipsos MORI’s online omnibus. Interviews were carried out amongst adults aged 16-75 in the UK with 1,121 adults aged over 16 who completed the survey between 17th and 21st May 2019. The sample obtained is representative of the population with quotas on age, gender and region. The data has been weighted to the known population profile by age, gender, region, social grade and working status to be nationally representative and reflect the adult population of the UK.

The author(s)

  • Hannah Millard PR Manager
  • Kully Kaur-Ballagan Public Affairs

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