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What your London borough says about you; study finds different areas attract distinct personalities


Finding the perfect place to live in the capital can often be a gruelling and time-consuming task. But scientists have found that matching your personality to an area could be more important in determining your future happiness, than property prices, the commute to work and distance from a local pub.

According to a team of researchers at Cambridge University who studied results from BBC’s Big Personality Test - which polled 56,000 Londoners on their psychological traits - different neighbourhoods in the capital attract distinct personality types. 

Scroll down to see what your borough says about you

A series of fascinating maps created by the team of scientists divides London according to six characteristics - life satisfaction, extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness.

On each map, the red clusters suggests high levels and blue shows low levels. For example, south-west London appears to house the greatest number of extroverts, including areas such as Fulham, Wandsworth and Richmond.

Londoners in the city, Islington and Hackney appear to be more open to new experiences and residents in Croyden, Bromley, Richmond and East Hillingdon and Harrow appear to be most conscientious.


Red indicates high levels, while blue indicates low levels of the psychological trait

Map of London's boroughs

Areas with highest concentration of each personality trait


Emotional stability

Most of greater London, but particularly:
North Hillingdon
South Brent
Kingston upon Thames
West Bromley


Openness to experience
The City
South Islington

Life satisfaction

“These findings not only add to our understanding of the ways in which our personalities relate to our physical environments, but they also provide potentially useful information for choosing a place to live,” says Dr Jason Rentfrow, of the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University.

“Granted, most people don’t have the luxury of complete control over where they live, but given their budgets, people can decide whether it’s more important to live in the centre of town, where daily life is vibrant and accommodation is small, or further out where daily life is slower but space is more plentiful.

“Making the decision that fits with your personality could have an effect on your overall life satisfaction,” he adds.

Images: Dr. Markus Jokela (University of Helsinki), ONS



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