Bristol’s Quality of Life survey results released

A record 5,000 Bristol residents responded to the council’s Quality of Life survey this year – with results out this week.

The survey which has been running for 21 years is sent to randomly selected households in the city.

Citizens aged 16 and over answer over 70 questions to produce more than 200 indicators on topics such as health, lifestyles, community, local services and living in Bristol.

The latest survey reveals that 20 of the 50 measures within the survey have improved – while 21 have got worse, with the pandemic having a profound impact on the results

There were falling rates of satisfaction in Health and Wellbeing, and also Culture and Leisure, but increasing rates of positivity towards Sustainability and Transport.

Inequalities continue to affect satisfaction and wellbeing in almost every element measured throughout the city.

Findings in this year’s report include:
  • Community and Living: Four out of five people are satisfied with their local area in Bristol, continuing a slight rise year on year (compared to one in two in the 10 per cent most deprived areas). But 25 per cent of people feel the gentrification taking place has a negative effect – an increase of five per cent on the previous year.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Given the COVID-19 pandemic – most of these indicators are significantly worse than last year. Of particular concern is that 20 per cent of people report below average mental wellbeing, significantly worse than last year (15 per cent) – with the figure rising to 34 per cent in the 10 per cent most deprived.

  • Crime and Safety: 7 per cent of people overall reported being a victim of racial discrimination or harassment in the last year, but in the most deprived areas this was 18 per cent – up from 11 per cent in those areas a year ago.

  • Education and Skills: 65 per cent of people know where to get information or advice about employment and training, a significant rise on last year (64 per cent in 10 per cent most deprived).

  • Sustainability and Environment: Satisfaction with Bristol parks and green spaces rose significantly (seven points from last year up to 79) per cent as did people visiting parks or green spaces at least once a week (now 60 per cent from 53 per cent last year). The results were 53 per cent and 37 per cent in the 10 per cent most deprived.
Knowle West’s Northern Slopes like all local green spaces has seen an increase in visits during the pandemic.
  • Culture and Leisure: The proportion of people satisfied with outdoor events (57 per cent) and who take part in cultural activities once a month (33 per cent) both fell significantly, and by more than any other indicator – affected by the COVID-19 restrictions. (This was 40 per cent and 18 per cent in the 10 per cent most deprived areas). However, satisfaction with libraries remained the same at 54 per cent. ( 41 per cent in the 10 per cent most deprived).
Filwood Library has remained closed during the pandemic.
  • Transport: 70 per cent of people think “traffic congestion is a problem locally”, which is significantly better than in recent years, and down to 56 per cent in deprived areas. Satisfaction with local bus services continued to rise to 57 per cent.

  • Housing: Overall, 87 per cent are satisfied with their current accommodation, similar to last year, but falling significantly to 68 per cent in the most deprived areas.

  • Council and Democracy: Satisfaction with “the way the council runs things” rose significantly to 47 per cent (29 per cent in most deprived). Just 25 per cent of residents were dissatisfied and 27 per cent had no opinion. A new indicator for this year shows that 40 per cent of people in Bristol feel the council “supported their local community during the coronavirus pandemic”, (15 per cent disagreed with this; 45 per cent had no opinion) – compared to 31 per cent in most deprived.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “…Lockdown has seen Bristolians doing their bit, staying home to save lives. The numbers show that not only are people visiting Bristol’s parks and green spaces more for their daily exercise, but are also feeling a stronger connection to their area.

“I am especially happy that there has been a rise in the number of people who feel they can influence decisions that affect their local communities.

“We will incorporate the results of this survey into our plans for COVID recovery and continue to focus on what matters most to people… “

The Mayor said the council recognised once again, there was ” a gulf between the lived experiences of those in the most deprived areas compared to the city as a whole.’

He added: “Our administration remains committed to working together with our partners to bridge the tale of two Bristols by continuing to tackle areas of inequality and focussing on addressing local needs, building even more affordable homes and supporting the local economy to help build a better Bristol as we recover from the pandemic.’’

The Quality of Life 2020 results are available now on the council website: www.bristol.gov.uk/qualityoflife.  The full range of indicators for the report will be published in March 2021.