Help us to Keep The Lights On for another decade! Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Wha’ gwan me babber?

Bristol’s annual quality of life survey yields some interesting results


Bristol’s annual quality of life survey yields some interesting results

Important: This survey was completed voluntarily by a small proportion of citizens, with black and minority ethnic (BME) and low-income people particularly under-represented. Findings should be considered in light of these factors. Read
full data and infomation

Words: Adrian Canup
Design: Emily Dann

Are you satisfied with life? Is domestic abuse a private matter? Can you influence decisions that affect your local area? Since 2001, these are some of the questions Bristol City Council have been asking thousands of residents in order to “provide an annual snapshot of Quality of Life” in our city.

In 2014, 24,300 residents were selected in randomised surveying, with just 3,500 answering. Nonetheless, the results are certainly interesting. Here we take a look at just five of 130 indicators of quality of life in our fair city.

public transport

Do you feel you can influence decisions that affect public services you use?


Democratic empowerment seems in short supply, with less than a fifth of citizens feeling they can influence decisions. Interestingly, the figure is slightly higher among Muslim respondents (21%) and disabled ones (22%). At ward level, Clifton rides high on 27%, a long way from Hengrove with just 8%. Maybe (ahem) a new, quality local media source could help…

familyDo you see family and friends as much as you want?


Depending on family relations, this could mean not at all! But seriously – family and friend networks are crucial. Facing some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK,  66% of people in Whitchurch Park say they see loved ones as much as they want. There’s a gender divide in the average, with 48% of men agreeing compared with 58% of female respondents meaning either that male respondents see friends and family less than they would like or female respondents actually seeing their loved ones more often than men do.

homeDo you agree people from different backgrounds get on well together?


Despite the best efforts of UKIP and others, Bristol has stayed steady on this count since 2013. Against a backdrop of rising Islamophobia and scare stories, 70% of Muslim respondents agree, compared with 58.1% of Christian respondents. Wards with the lowest levels of ethnic minority residents (Filwood, Whitchurch Park, Stockwood) report the lowest levels of agreement with the question (40%) while also suffering the highest levels of deprivation. This suggests mixing with different groups actually encourages positive relationships, and that the root causes of inequality need to be tackled, not left to anti-immigrant groups to capitalise on discontent.

climate changeAre you very concerned about the effects of climate change in the UK?


Although up from 22% in 2013, this is still pretty meagre. Topping the ward list for those freaking out about floods and freak weather is Ashley – maybe the Afro-Caribbeans of St Pauls and the hippies of St Werburghs share a concern for Mother Earth. In contrast, just 13% of respondents in Stoke Bishop are very concerned. As for 2015’s results, it’ll be interesting to see whether a year of greeno handclapping and backslapping has had an effect.

privateDo you agree that domestic abuse is a private matter?


This has fallen from 14% since 2012 potentially thanks to some great community organisations and other initiatives. More needs to be done though – Bristol Fawcett Society reported 14,273 women and girls aged 16-59 in Bristol were estimated to have experienced domestic abuse in 2013. Check out Bristol Against Violence and Abuse and Lighthouse Victim and Victim Care for advice and information.

meal time to use

Is your main meal prepared at home from fresh and raw ingredients at least four days a week?


A healthy diet means a healthy life, said someone somewhere – and it seems Bristol, living up to the stereotype, is a city of fresh-food eaters. Bishopston, with high levels of prosperity and Gloucester Road’s grocers on hand, registers a 94% for food preparation and even at the lower end, Frome Vale scores a high 73%.

tick and crossAre you satisfied with life?


Bit of an odd question, but one that suggests overall contentment. Perhaps predictably, there’s a gulf between Filwood (56%) and Henleaze (86%), Bristol’s second most deprived ward and least-deprived ward respectively.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?


Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

How a media backlash led to a St Paul’s woman’s dramatic release from prison

In 1933 Mary Burridge, a poor mother of five, was sentenced to a month’s hard labour after stealing a few items of food at Easter. But after a national outcry over her treatment, a wealthy lawyer flew to Cardiff to free her from prison.

Whistleblowers reveal institutional racism at local NHS trust

A Cable investigation spanning months has uncovered that complaints of institutional racism at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust went unheard, despite promises from management to tackle the issue.

Cities of the future must prioritise the health of people and the planet

Preventing ill-health from poor-quality urban environments, and promoting fairness, are at the heart of a project Bristol is helping to lead.

Rising demand and falling donations causing shortages at Bristol food banks

The cost of living crisis means more people need food banks – but fewer are donating. The Cable spoke to organisations across the city trying to help the growing number of households who can't afford to eat.

Julz Davis: checking in on Martin Luther King’s dream

Campaigner Julz Davis speaks to the Cable about his Race for Power project to improve racial equity in Bristol, the UK's seventh most unequal city.

Cooking up a storm: The project tackling Bristol’s rising food poverty

The Mazi Project provides pre-portioned meal kits to marginalised young people to address food poverty in the city.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning