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The most misjudged city in the UK is…

The most misjudged city in the UK is…

The most misjudged city in the UK is… It’s fair to say that in the UK we’re prone to throwing out a stereotype or two about many of our own cities. However, do our stereotypes actually match reality?

When it comes to Glasgow, it appears we’re wide of the mark.

That’s because, according to a survey by over 50s insurer RIAS, the former European Capital of Culture is viewed as ‘deprived’ and ‘unsafe’ by non-locals – but in fact has one of the lowest crime rates among the top 10 populated cities in the UK. Locals have a much better opinion of the city with more than half stating it is much safer than five years ago and RIAS claims data showing that residents of the city made the fewest theft claims on their home insurance policies.

So if Glasgow is the most ‘misjudged’ city, then which city is seen in the same light by locals and non-locals alike? That dubious honour goes to Bradford with residents and outsiders viewing the city as ‘dirty’ and ‘deprived’.

So what about other cities?

London is, perhaps unsurprisingly, described as ‘stressful’ by both outsiders and locals alike. Birmingham is described by locals and outsiders as ‘dirty’, whereas Edinburgh scores favourably, with both locals and outsiders describing the city as ‘affluent’. 

This misunderstanding of Glasgow is further highlighted when people were asked to rank the cities in order of how safe they are. Glasgow ranked in the top three most unsafe cities for nearly half (45%) of all respondents, which is unreflective of the official statistics released by the Police and Scottish Government, where the number of crimes committed in Glasgow is the second lowest in the table – only behind Edinburgh in the whole of the UK.

Let’s take a look at those tables, according to the RIAS research: 

Top two words used to describe UK cities by non-locals            
City Description % who described
Birmingham Dirty 17%
Deprived 15%
Bradford Deprived 27%
Dirty 19%
 Bristol Affluent 15%
Happy 12%
Edinburgh Affluent 30%
Safe 21%
Glasgow Deprived 21%
Unsafe 16%
Leeds Happy 13%
Unsafe 10%
Liverpool Happy 23%
Deprived 19%
London Stressful 36%
Affluent 34%
Manchester Happy 17%
Unsafe 15%
 Sheffield Deprived 11%
Happy 10%
 
Top two words to describe UK cities by locals
City Description % who described
Birmingham Dirty 29%
Stressful 28%
Bradford Deprived 58%
Dirty 54%
 Bristol Happy 34%
Relaxed 27%
Edinburgh Affluent 48%
Happy 37%
Glasgow Happy 59%
Relaxed 38%
Leeds Happy 33%
Relaxed 23%
Liverpool Happy 63%
Relaxed 43%
London Stressful 61%
Dirty 36%
Manchester Happy 32%
Stressful 22%
Sheffield Happy 31%
Stressful 27%

Crimes committed per 10,000 population
City No. crimes per 10,000 population
Manchester 1,681
Liverpool 1,377
Sheffield 1,338
Bristol 1,306
Bradford 1,292
Greater London 1,159
Leeds 1,158
Birmingham 951
Glasgow 852
Edinburgh 731

What do you make of the survey’s results? Do they match your perceptions and how would you describe these cities if you’re a local? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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