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January 15, 2015

Maps: The personalities of London's postal districts

By City Monitor Staff

Now we all know how you love a map. So do we. And these maps of personality types across London are particularly satisfying: they give scientific backing to the sweeping generalisations regularly made about different areas of the capital.

The data was collected as part of the BBC’s Big Personality Test, and researchers from Cambridge University then analysed the responses of over 55,000 Londoners to map different personality traits across the city. They found that similar types tend to gravitate towards similar areas. They also discovered that residents had a higher life satisfaction rating if their personality matched that of the area they lived in – so an agreeable, emotionally stable type wouldn’t have a great time living in Hackney, while extroverts would fare best in west and north London. 

Here’s a sample:

Click for a larger image. 

And here’s the scale. Blue means the average resident doesn’t have a quality; red means they have it in buckets.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, those with the cash to live in London’s priciest areas are the most extroverted, while those in the Outer Boroughs are the least. 

Below are a selection of other maps from the study. Use them as a handy guide for any future moves, or as a way to judge your London-based friends. 

Emotional stability

Click for a larger image. 

Wandsworth, it seems, is home to the city’s most temperate personalities.  Strikingly, though, the city as a whole isn’t particularly stable. Which is a little concerning.


Click for a larger image.

…and it turns out no one’s very agreeable either. This is getting depressing. 


Click for a larger image.

There are hardworking hotspots in Bromley and Merton, but beyond that, most Londoners are pretty lazy.  The residents of Hackney, Camden, Islington and Southwark in particular need to up their game. Coincidentally, all four have high populations of young people. 

Openness to experience 

Click for a larger image.

They may be lazy, but those in Hackney and Islington are very open to new experiences.  As long as they don’t involve doing any work. 

All images: Cambridge University.

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