A Tale of Four Cities
by William Jordan in Front Page, Infographics, Life and London
Tue January 21, 2014 2:33 p.m. GMT
A new survey of Londoners reveals the city's regional stereotypes: the West is ‘posh’, the East is ‘poor’, the South is ‘rough’ and the North is ‘intellectual'
In the YouGov survey of 1294 Londoners, respondents were shown a list of adjectives and asked which four they most associate with each area of London – East, West, North and South – and the results were analysed to determine which words were particularly associated with an area.
Out of this analysis emerges the distinct ‘brand’ of the four London sub-regions, revealing their reputation and and the often contradictory stereotypes associated with them.
Some of the key findings:
- East London – home to some of London's poorest areas but recently revitalised by Olympic Park developments and a growing youth culture – is poor and dirty, but also arty and try-hard.
- Across the map in West London, where most of the city's wealthiest residents live, 'posh' is the word. Of course with the high-class, cultured reputation also comes the view that West London is trendy and pretentious.
- South London, like the east, is both rough and up and coming; like the North, it is also viewed as especially family-friendly and suburban (and dull).
- North London is also apparently the intellectual part of town. The area – which has been home to Stephen Fry, Geri Halliwell and Michael Foot – is cultured, but past its prime.
Of course, London is a city that is also constantly changing. There are already several major developments, like the CrossRail, new cycle lanes and a 24-hour Underground service, likely to transform the regional make-up of the city in the coming years.