When Everyone Else Is Tired Of London

welcome to london

‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’, as the well-worn quote of Samuel Johnson goes. But what happens when everyone else is tired of London? A report released on Tuesday shows that people in 16 cities around the UK are pretty tired of London.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by Centre for London and Centre for Cities found 1,700 respondents (from a sample of 2,478) think the capital is expensive, crowded and/or chaotic. To anyone living in London none of those adjectives will be unfamiliar, but when it comes to politics, the economy and media the perception is that London gets more of everything.

Unsurprisingly, the further north the researchers got from London, the less well-regarded the capital was — in Hull, Sheffield and Liverpool, fewer than one in 10 people thought that London has a positive effect on their local economy. When asked to pick five words to describe London, the top choices were ‘expensive’ and ‘crowded’, with ‘dirty’, ‘elitist’ and ‘impersonal’ also making an appearance. On the plus side, London is ‘cosmopolitan’, ‘lively’ and ‘fashionable’, so that’s alright then.

You can see the Guardian’s datablog here.

Photo by Mani Babbar Photography in the Londonist Flickr pool.

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Article by Beth Parnell-Hopkinson | 714 Articles | View Profile

  • Dave H

    “but when it comes to politics, the economy and media the perception is that London gets more of everything.”

    That’s quite an interesting perception. It may be true of politics (but seriously, who wants MORE politics anyway?) and the media, but I’ve heard it said on several occasions that London contributes far more to the economy (and treasury) than it takes out. I wonder if this is true, or just a well-repeated myth.

    • BethPH

      I’ve seen the opinion that London sucks the life out of the UK’s economy repeated reasonably regularly so I’m not surprised that people have that perception.

      I sometimes think there’s also a bit of a notion that London is ‘toxic’ combined with a dash of reverse snobbery.

    • http://www.twitter.com/iph0ne @iph0ne

      The square mile alone contributes over 2% of Britain entire GDP, and London as a whole contributes 19%. So i say they get to whine about London when they start making some money.

      http://www.kgbanswers.co.uk/what-percentage-of-the-uks-gdp-is-produced-from-the-city-of-london-not-greater-london/3426508

  • L Sim

    I love living in London… I am a Londoner born and bred, I also like the country and in particular, the North and Scotland. London isn’t for everyone though, if you’re not used to the London state of mind it can appear that Londoners are rude and arrogant… I’ve heard that before many times!

  • Nick

    Greatest city in the world, I’m constantly drawn back to it. Other cities in the UK never get near the buzz and excitement that London gives people, we should celebrate it not knock it all the time.

  • Alan O’Kelly

    Well, if you live north of Watford you’re bound to get a bit tetchy. :-)

  • David

    I am a Californian who loves London. I have two words for it: Art and Civilization. (But I will only visit in the late fall or winter when it is, to me, most beautiful.)

  • Terence Sommer

    I am from the US and have been to London three times. I love London. But I can understand the feelings of the other people in Britain. In the USA we are all so sick of New York and Hollywood as well.

  • Shannon Green

    This could probably be down to the fact that these people will most likely visit as tourists. Yes Leicester Square on a summer Saturday is crowded and dirty and expensive. Most of the time I find London to be not that crowded. Or maybe I’m just used to it.

  • http://www.alfiegreenmedia.com Alfie Green

    I’m personally SICK of a minority of the rest of the country moaning about London being the center of everything. It is the CAPITAL city, it has it’s own economy and it has far more jobs than any other major city, the BBC made a huge mistake going up to MediaCity, once they clearly regret.

  • Rossella mauro

    I love London ,I was born in Italy in Rome but I love London and back three times all year. If I could I ‘d move immediately.I admire respect for others,civility and lifestyle.
    Of course is chaotic and crowded but that’s normal ,it’s so big!!!
    London for ever!!!