Neighbours get cold shoulder

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The Independent Online
A QUARTER of people aged under 35 rarely or never speak to their neighbours, according to research published today.

A report by Royal Mail revealed they are more likely to keep in touch with someone on the other side of the world, with more than a third making regular contact with a friend or relative overseas.

A third of young adults only occasionally exchange pleasantries with a neighbour, the Royal Mail's 21st Century Family report showed. But more than 70 per cent of over-55s often chat with people living near by and more than half say they are close friends.

Nearly a third of under-35s say they would not know their neighbours if they saw them, would only offer to help neighbours if it was absolutely necessary and do not want to get to know them any better.

Stephen Davie, director of international communications for Royal Mail, said: "The global village continues to shrink and in these days of improved communication we are just as likely to feel we are `neighbours' with someone across the world as across the street."

The report also revealed people that live farther from relatives now than in the past, although most still live within an hour's journey. It showed that 72 per cent of grandparents still see their grandchildren at least once a week.

Nearly half of people see siblings less than once a month.More than a third rely on the post to keep in touch with family. Just over one- third of adults in Britain would like to live abroad in the future, with the United States, Australia and Spain the favourite destinations.

Nearly half the population write socially to someone abroad, according to the report.

Trips to see family and friends overseas have risen from four million a decade ago to over six million, it was revealed.