How Cosmopolitan is Your Neighbourhood?

How cosmopolitan is your local area? Is your region a magnet for travellers from around the world – or is the area in which you live a little.. quieter? To find out, we used our historical mobile geo-dataset to analyse the breadth of visitors from countries around the world to each of the UK’s Local Authority Districts, and used those figures to provide a ‘cosmopolitanism score’ for evaluation. In turn, the visitors to each region have been classified by country of origin based on their country of residence. A Local District Authority is an administrative area that is designed to represent a roughly equal proportion of the country’s population – hence why the polygon areas are of different sizes.

This interactive Carto map uses the cosmopolitanism range score to shade each Local Authority District according to the diversity of visitors that it has received based on the spatial measurements made by our platform. Certain features of this map are consistent with what one might anecdotally assume to be the case; London, the South-East and certain Midland and university cities score well – with Manchester / Stockport, Sheffield, York, Liverpool and Edinburgh all presenting highly. There are also some potential surprises within the results – North East Lincolnshire (home to the Port of Grimsby) and the Scottish Highlands both prominent, but then again, as one of most scenic and internationally appreciated corners of the UK, it does attract its share of tourism.

The Top 10 Areas by Cosmopolitanism


|          name          | countries_measured | rank  |
| City of London         |                150 |   100 |
| Westminster            |                119 | 79.32 |
| Kensington and Chelsea |                117 | 77.76 |
| Lambeth                |                112 | 74.28 |
| Islington              |                109 |  72.6 |
| Hammersmith and Fulham |                107 | 71.14 |
| Camden                 |                106 | 70.88 |
| Hackney                |                106 | 70.83 |
| Southwark              |                106 | 70.83 |
| Tower Hamlets          |                106 | 70.67 |

Few if any surprises here; the Local Authority Districts that draw visitors from the greatest number of different countries are all located in and around Central London.

The 10 Most Cosmopolitan Areas Outside London


|         name         | countries_measured | rank  |
| Redbridge            |                 78 | 52.06 |
| Reigate and Banstead |                 74 | 49.26 |
| Woking               |                 74 | 49.26 |
| City of Edinburgh    |                 73 | 48.67 |
| Three Rivers         |                 69 | 45.99 |
| Bexley               |                 69 | 45.77 |
| Crawley              |                 69 | 45.71 |
| Epsom and Ewell      |                 69 | 45.71 |
| Hertsmere            |                 67 |  44.6 |
| Elmbridge            |                 67 | 44.55 |

Outside the focus is generally in the South East, and south of London in particular with regions in Surrey between London and Brighton (via Gatwick Airport) showing highly. Edinburgh is a significant exception here, as one might expect given that it is Scotland’s capital and its established tourism draw.

And the 10 Least Cosmopolitan Places


|         name          | countries_measured | rank  |
| Barnsley              |                 24 | 15.93 |
| Ashfield              |                 24 | 15.71 |
| Powys                 |                 23 | 15.53 |
| Bolsover              |                 23 | 15.31 |
| Hyndburn              |                 22 | 14.64 |
| East Northamptonshire |                 22 | 14.51 |
| Pendle                |                 22 | 14.38 |
| Mansfield             |                 22 | 14.36 |
| Bassetlaw             |                 21 |  14.2 |
| Merthyr Tydfil        |                 21 | 13.98 |

Wales and parts of the Midlands comprise the nation’s least cosmopiltan regions, attracting visitors from up to 6x fewer countries than some of those at the other end of the scale.
What is the significance of cosmopolitanism for communities, retail and real-estate? The strength of appeal to a broad range of visitors coming from many different parts of the world can only speak to the underlying appeal that a certain destination has, and as with catchment area modelling – but on a global scale – this speaks favourably to the strength of the local proposition, whether that be based on a historical attraction, business, eduction or scenery. It also helps local business owners and service providers to understand their customers and to optimise the way in which they market to them and the services they provide. To that end, further analysis could be carried out into what makes up the specific country or regional source of visitors to learn more.


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Get the full dataset on 379 Local Authority Districts to use in your own projects!

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Precise Methodology and Limitations

This analysis focuses on the range of different country residents that visit each of the UK’s Local Area Districts (“LAD”), excluding Northern Ireland. From our mobile panel of 10x millions of consumers worldwide, we first found the profiles that had visited not the LAD polygon area but the ONS Output Area definition, which relates to the high-streets and commercial zones across the country’s towns and cities that themselves are contained within each of the UK’s LADs. For each of those profiles, we then traversed all of the countries that our platform had observed them visit, and found which one is likely to be their country of residence based on a combination of dwell and frequency. This allowed us to then count the number of distinct countries of residence for visitors to each LAD zone to produce our ranking. We then divided each of those values by the series’ maximum value to give them each a score on a scale of 0-1, or 0-100%. This metric therefore speaks to the diversity of appeal to different country residents rather than the absolute proportion of overseas visitors in each case.

We hope that this resource is useful to you, and please feel free to download and use it in your own projects. The table in the CSV file on the link above relates to the LAD polygon definitions, which you can find on this link. If you have more detailed or specific requirements that our geo-data can help you find solutions for, reach out to our New Business team who will be happy to discuss your needs.

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