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News14 December 2022

The Clarion Index 2022

The Clarion Index is our annual customers’ behavioural insights report, giving a broad look at residents’ lives, views and experiences. Clarion places significant importance on listening to our customers to better understand and serve their needs.

Each year, we speak to 2,000 residents for 15 minutes and ask them 60 questions about their neighbourhood, jobs, wellbeing, finances, online experience and how they prefer to talk to us.

Having moved out of the pandemic and straight in to a cost of living crisis, we introduced more questions this year about residents’ household budgets, their energy bills and how they’re coping with the unpreceded increases many of us have seen

This year, despite the financial pressures, it is reassuring that our metrics around community, neighbourhood and wellbeing have stayed high, with most residents satisfied with the place where they live and feeling they belong there.

Clarion Index 2022: Key findings

Despite the unsettled times, in the wake of the pandemic and worsening cost of living crisis, it is reassuring to see that 85% of residents feel that they belong in their neighbourhood and that a similar number (86%) agree that their local area provides them with access to everything they need.

Whilst eight out of ten residents feel in control of their lives (81%), we have seen a slight increase in reports of loneliness, and acute feelings of loneliness for some (11%) are significantly higher than the national level.

Our survey results show 56% of working age residents are in paid employment, an increase from 49% in 2021, and a reduction in the level of those unemployed and looking for work (8%); these shifts are in line with the labour market more widely.

It is evident the cost of living crisis is seriously impacting Clarion households. There is an increase in the proportion of households either only having enough money for essentials (34%) or running out of money before the end of the week (21%) and a decrease in those able to afford some luxuries as well as the essentials (12%) or having money left over at the end of the week (23%).

Increasingly, households are having to make difficult decisions to manage their finances, such as cutting back on household spending (65%), getting in to, or further in to, debt (21%) and a growing number are even going without food as they cannot afford it (18%)

The energy crisis is a cause of great concern for households: 85% are worried about increasing energy bills and at the time the survey was conducted (June / July 2022), 82% had seen their energy bills increase.

84% of residents use the internet; of those, 75% say they use it at least once a day. This recent uptick in residents using the internet is driven by a continued increase in residents of retirement age getting online.