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Most people believe Britain has become less caring, study suggests

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Almost two out of three people believe Britain has become less caring in the last 10 years, new research suggests.

Fewer than one in 10 of 2,200 adults surveyed by charity Action for Happiness said the country was more caring than a decade ago.

The charity said its study found that the top five factors most strongly predicting high levels of compassion were being female, voting Remain in the EU referendum, living with three or more other people, being aged under 35 and voting Labour at the 2017 general election.

Income, social class and location does not matter when it comes to how compassionate people are, according to the report.

Professor Richard Layard of London School of Economics, which helped with the study, said the findings were "remarkable", adding: "Although our nation seems increasingly polarised and people think kindness is in decline, it's encouraging to find that younger people feel the importance of showing compassion and may in fact be kinder than their elders.”

"As more women achieve the recognition and influence they deserve in our society, their greater compassion should be a stronger force for good. It's vital we do more to promote compassion in our politics, institutions and communities."

Dr Mark Williamson, chief executive of Action for Happiness said: "Kindness is the foundation for a good society and benefits us all.

"Investigating kindness across Britain, this research shows that where we live and how much we earn don't divide us, yet our political differences do.”

"There's a real link between how we vote and how much we care about others. To create a better society, we need to see beyond our divisions and unite around what we have in common. We're happier when we help each other."