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People crowding on Barcelona's famous Las Ramblas street

Barcelona social values survey: more feminism, less politics

Barcelona social values survey: more feminism, less politics

The Catalonian capital’s society and the trajectory of its attitudes have been studied since 1998

On Sunday, 22 May, the Barcelona City Council presented its seventh Social Values Survey, which seeks to understand the sociological profile of the local residents and their opinions on the contemporary issues of the day.

The fieldwork was conducted in the late autumn of 2021 among 1,500 residents between the ages of 16 and 75. The very first such survey was conducted in 1998 with the aim of studying the ethical and ideological profiles among the residents of the Catalonian capital.

Increased life satisfaction and individualism

Family, personal development, studies -understood above all as a tool for personal growth-, and friends are, in that order, the most important aspects for the people of Barcelona. At the social level, unemployment and social exclusion and inequality are consolidated as the main social problems for Barcelonans, with 27% of the answers. 

Consistent with the growing concern for exclusion and the dominance of progressive values, the defence of equality as a driving force grows to the point of tying up with the defence of freedom. For three out of four respondents, freedom and equality are the most recognized driving values ​​– even more so than security and privacy.

There is a unanimous disproval of violence, war or corporal punishment of children at the same time, as most believe that we live in a violent society. On the other hand, however, the rejection rate of the death penalty has decreased from 70% to 65%.

More feminist values and tolerance

The survey confirms growing support for the feminist movement (56% in 2014; 70% in 2018 and 72% last year), which is accompanied by a progressive awareness of the discrimination suffered by women. Three out of four respondents state that a woman's chances of professional success are not the same as a man's and that household and care work is not evenly distributed between men and women.

Tolerance has increasingly become entrenched as a local value, as well.  Eight out of ten respondents believe that immigrants contribute to the country's economic development. Almost seven out of ten think that immigration will help pay for the pensions of the future and only a quarter believe that there are fewer public service resources available - all indicators better than in 2018.

Another characteristic of this survey is the growing animalistic awareness in Barcelona society. With 92.7% of the support, the animal protection movements occupy the first place as the movement with the most support, even more so than the ecological and pacifist movements.

Lessened trust in politics, parties and institutions

The survey confirms that the majority of Barcelona men and women are on the left of the political spectrum, but also reveals that citizens are increasingly moving away from politics, parties and institutions. 57.5% say they have little or no interest in politics and the majority of respondents, 41.2%, do not identify with any party. Nine out of ten people have little or no confidence in political parties.

Political disaffection is accompanied by a growing distrust of institutions. Monarchy, the Church, the banking sector and the army are the institutions that generate the least confidence. Likewise, civic associations also fall in popularity, with 54.1% of respondents not belonging to any association or entity. In terms of the feeling of closeness, Barcelona is the area with which people most identify, above Catalonia and Spain.

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