26 Mar 2017

Study reveals why Scots don't make good neighbours

Study reveals why Scots don't make good neighbours

With it being 32 years today since Neighbours was first aired on Australian TV, the How Scotland Lives study looked at how sociable Scots are with those living nearest in the neighbourhood.

It found we don’t quite live up to the lovable likes of Harold Bishop as almost half (46%) don’t spend time with any neighbours at all, while just over a quarter (29%) only socialise with one or two.

Scots aged 25-34 are the least sociable neighbours as over half (55%) do not spend any time with anyone living in the vicinity, but the older generations (45-54 year olds 53%), 35-44 year olds 52%) are just as withdrawn.

It’s little surprise that where you live impacts on how much, or little, we engage with our neighbours.

City dwellers in Glasgow (61%), Dundee (51%) and the Lothians (50%) top the regions for Scots not socialising with anyone in their immediate neighbourhood.

No chat

Living in a city, you’re more likely to have a group of friends built up and may simply not want any more, according to the research, which was carried out by Bank of Scotland.

Of the Scots who socialise with only one or two neighbours (29%), this trait is seen most in the 18-24 year olds and 55s and over (both 32%), with Mid Scotland (39%) and Aberdeen (34%) topping the regions.

Only 14% of Scots socialise with between three to five neighbours, and when it comes to socialising with ten or more people in the neighbourhood, this figure plummets to a mere 3%. In this category, it’s those aged 55 and over (5%), and people living in Fife (7%) who are the most sociable.

They may take a parcel delivery for you but don’t expect to be invited in for a chat.

Almost a third (31%) of Scots would take in a parcel for their neighbour, but that, it seems, is the extent of their encounters, particularly for men (39%) and the 25-34 age group (42%).

Those in Dundee rank highest (41%) for limiting their interaction with neighbours to the occasional handing over of a parcel delivery, with the North East close behind (40%).

Over a quarter (28%) would turn to their neighbour for help in an emergency, however this is seen more from the elderly as two fifths (41%) of these are aged 65 and over.

It’s little surprise that for the regions, the Highlands and Islands come out top (33%) as those living in remoter parts of the country rely more on neighbours for help as family or friends are often not close by.

No drama please, we're Scots

Helen Daniels may have been the original Neighbour who always offered a shoulder to cry on for both friends and family, but only a fifth of Scots are willing to discuss their personal life with their neighbour.

Of these, almost a third (29%) are aged 18-24, closely followed by the 35-44 age group (27%).

More people in South Scotland have a good enough relationship with their neighbour to feel comfortable speaking about their personal life than any other region (23%), followed by Glasgow (22%) and the Highlands and Islands (21%).

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