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Social capital in the UK: 2020


Main points of recent Office for National Statistics work

  • At the UK level, trust in national government fell by 11 percentage points in the year to autumn 2019.

  • In our communities across the UK, positive engagement with our neighbours, such as exchanging favours or stopping to talk, fell by three and four percentage points respectively between 2011 to 2012 and 2017 to 2018.

  • Our sense of belonging to our neighbourhoods across the UK declined between 2014 to 2015 and 2017 to 2018.

  • In our communities across England and Wales, we reported feeling safer walking alone at night in 2018 to 2019 compared with 2012 to 2013, with a 12 percentage point increase for women and a 4 percentage point increase for men over this period; although women continue to feel less safe than men, with a 20 percentage point gap observed in 2018 to 2019, this gap has narrowed since 2012 to 2013.

  • Within our families, parents in the UK were less likely to regularly give help to, and receive help from, their adult children not living with them in 2017 to 2018 than in 2011 to 2012, falling by four and six percentage points respectively.

  • On an individual level, reported membership of political, voluntary, professional or recreational organisations declined by five percentage points in the UK between 2011 to 2012 and 2017 to 2018; meanwhile, social networking via the internet increased by 15 percentage points across the UK between 2013 and 2019.