15:28 14 June 2010
The British public are far more likely to know about the goings on of entertainment celebrities and sports stars than their own next-door neighbours, a survey has revealed.
Findings in the YouGov study revealed that 49% of us are more familiar with faraway performers than people living on the same street.
The online survey of over 2,000 people found that people are now half as "neighbourly" than they were almost three decades ago.
The average citizen knows the names of just seven people in their neighbourhood. In 1982 it was 13.
66% speak to their neighbours once a week or less, while only one in four people look after a spare key to next door. Similarly the number of people willing to look after plants or pets while a neighbour is away has halved.
But on a more positive note, more than 30 million people will take in parcels as a favour and over a quarter keep an eye on elderly or disabled people living close by.
The study, commissioned by Co-operatives UK - an organisation which promotes the interests of British co-operatives - found that 21 million conversations were held between neighbours every single day.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: "It is intriguing that we see our neighbours much less but we like them more.
"While it is true that our streets have changed, Britain at heart still thinks of itself as a neighbourly nation and the reciprocity of contact, conversation and assistance across the garden fence or front drive is still a major driver for co-operation and trust."
In a regional breakdown, northerners tend to know most of their neighbours' names (94%), while Londoners are least likely. 11% cent of those living in the capital were unable to name any.
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