A fascinating new study from Cambridge University has sought to unveil differences in personality between the various regions of the UK. The study, which involved interviewing an astonishing 400,000 respondents about their beliefs, outlooks and opinions has revealed some divisions that could prove of great interest to anyone considering settling in the British Isles.
Major cities like London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge were found to be the most open to new ideas, for example. These populations scored highly for traits such as intellect, imagination and curiosity. Whether these classically cultured and academic areas have attracted the more intellectual individuals from surrounding areas or whether these towns and cities do a better job of fostering such behaviours in the existing population isn’t clear.
The people living in such major cities were also typically viewed as far more social and outgoing than in more rural areas, with extroversion and sociability bring highest in the south of the country.
However while London may well score highly on “openness” of course it isn’t all good news for the British capital. Somewhat less surprisingly Londoners are deemed to be more argumentative and less helpful than residents of other areas; especially more rural parts of the country. So while London has always been the number one spot for tourists arriving in the UK, anyone staying for a longer period of time may find themselves growing rather despondent with the “coldness” of typical Londoners, and would find it easier to establish meaningful, long-term relationships in other parts of the UK.
So who were the friendliest people in the UK? Where should anyone seeking a ready smile and easy chat head to? According to the study, Scotland came out on top in this respect, though the north of England also fared very well overall for this category. According to the study, the people here are far more likely to be classed as agreeable and helpful than those ranking further down south.
The results from Wales are particularly interesting. If the data is to be believed then the Welsh are characterised as statistically more likely to be shy and introvert, as well as proving to be a hotspot for neuroticism.
The statistics seem quite clear. While the South East of England, and London in particular, tends to be seen as the economic powerhouse of the UK, attracting expats from around the world, it may not be the best place to live. For any travellers or expats willing to explore the more northerly areas of the UK you’re far more likely to receive a warm and friendly welcome.
Whether the culture of the major cities, or the warmth of the more northerly areas will win through will all depend on your personal opinion on what matters most on your trip to the UK.