Maps: The personalities of London's postal districts

Hackneyites: lazy but open to experiences. Image: Getty.

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.

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. 


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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.


Sadiq Khan and Grant Shapps clash over free bus travel for under 18s

A London bus at Victoria station. Image: Getty.

The latest front in the row between Transport for London (TfL) and national government over how to fund the capital’s transport system: free bus travel for the under 18s.

Two weeks ago, you’ll recall, TfL came perilously close to running out of money and was forced to ask for a bail out. The government agreed, but offered less money, and with more strings attached, than the agency wanted. At present, there are a range of fare discounts – some up to 100% – available to children depending on their age and which service they’re using, provided they have the right Oyster card. One of the government’s strings, the mayor’s office says, was to end all free TfL travel for the under 18s, Oyster or no Oyster.

The Department for Transport’s line on all this is that this is about maximising capacity. Many working-age people need to use buses to get to their jobs: they’re more likely to be able to do that, while also social distancing, if those buses aren’t already full of teenagers riding for free. (DfT cited the same motivation for banning the use of the Freedom Pass, which provides free travel for the retired, at peak times.)

But in an open letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps, the mayor, Sadiq Khan, wrote that TfL believed that 30% of children who currently received free travel had a statutory entitlement to it, because they attend schools more than a certain distance from their homes. If TfL doesn’t fund this travel, London’s boroughs must, which apart from loading costs onto local government means replacing an administrative system that already exists with one that doesn’t. 

Some Labour staffers also smell Tory ideological objections to free things for young people at work. To quote Khan’s letter:

“It is abundantly clear that losing free travel would hit the poorest Londoners hardest at a time when finances are stretched more than ever... I want to make sure that families who might not have a choice but to use public transport are not further disadvantaged.”

London’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, is set to meet government officials next week to discuss all this. In the mean time, you can read Khan’s letter here.

UPDATE: The original version of this piece noted that the full agreement between the mayor and DfT remained mysteriously unpublished. Shortly after this story went live, the agreement appeared. Here it is.

Jonn Elledge was founding editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.