What does your postcode say about your personality?

What does your postcode say about you? Pic: Hans Laubel.

What does your postcode say about you? Pic: Hans Laubel.

Life satisfaction taken a slump? You might be living in the wrong postcode!

It’s no secret that people in the capital face frequent stereotyping. Central Londoners are often perceived to be hostile, while suburban residents are sometimes pigeon-holed as dull.

Well, according to new research into the personality types of people in London, these perceptions may in fact be true!

A study by Cambridge University researchers reveals that east London residents are the “least emotionally stable” in the city.  The findings were interpreted from data collected from 56,000 Londoners by the BBC between 2009 and 2011 as part of its Big Personality Test.

The research revealed that people with specific personalities tend to cluster in certain areas of London. It shows that Croydon residents are the nicest among us, while those in Lewisham appear the most emotionally unstable. Hackney habitants are conscientious, while Tower Hamlets’ occupants are most open to new experiences.

Dr Jason Rentfrow from the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University said: “Together, these findings not only add to our understanding of the ways in which features of our personalities relate to our physical environments, but they also provide potentially useful information for choosing a place to live”.

So what does your postcode say about you? Eastlondonlines summarised the data for each of our four boroughs to discover what the study suggests about our local residents:



Croydon residents are not very adventurous, particularly those in the north near Fairfield, Ashburton and Shirley, the study suggests. Purley and Coulsdon house the most emotionally stable of Croydoners, while southern Croydon residents have considerably high levels of life satisfaction.



Residents in this borough are the most open to new experiences and the most significantly unstable emotionally, the study indicates. Hackney Downs and Lea Bridge are home to the friendliest of residents, while the people of Kings Park and Hackney Wick apparently lack fulfilment.



The people of Bellingham, Catford and Hither Green are the most outgoing of Lewisham’s population. Those in north Lewisham, particularly in Brockley and New Cross Gate are significantly less conscientious than their southern counterparts. New Cross Gate residents are the most exciting in the borough!


Tower Hamlets

Inhabitants of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green are shown to be the most adventurous, while Whitechapel residents appear to be the most emotionally stable in Tower Hamlets. Those who live in Canary Wharf experience the most life satisfaction, but are the least sociably inclined, according to the researchers.


The research, funded by the Kone Foundation and the Academy of Finland, was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An interactive map of London and demonstrating the results of the academic study can be found here.


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