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1.5 Social Capital


The figures compare trust in the United Kingdom to the rest of Europe, over time and across income quintiles. Metric 1.5.1a considers two different components of trust: “General trust” and “People VS Institutions”, the latter capturing higher trust in people (as compared to institutions) for higher values of the indicator and vice-versa for lower values.

Both components are, on average, higher in the UK as compared to the European average. In particular, “General trust” increases in the UK up to 2012, to then fall and pick-up again only in 2016. The “People VS Institutions” component shows instead an initial mild increase to then decline over time. Metric 1.5.1b takes only one component, “General trust”, and shows how this varies as income increases (where again, the zero line represents the European average).

The picture is rather similar for the UK and Europe, with a clear positive association between income and trust.

Indicator 1.5.1 – Dimensions of trust

Elaboration on the eight waves of the European Social Survey (2002/2016), which comprises data at an individual level for over 30 countries (the sample varies depending on the year).

The variables are created through principal component analysis on the following subset of questions: “Most people can be trusted or you can't be too careful”; “Most people try to take advantage of you, or try to be fair”; “Most of the time people helpful or mostly looking out for themselves”; “Trust in country's parliament”; “Trust in the legal system”; “Trust in the police”; “Trust in politicians”; “Trust in political parties”; “Trust in the European Parliament”; “Trust in the United Nations”. All these variables are measured on a scale from 0 to 10. 

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