The world’s a noisy place, but there are some places that are noisier than others. A survey of 8,800 people across 11 countries has revealed that the degree of noise we’re exposed to can vary significantly depending on where we live. The survey’s respondents, living in 47 cities across the globe from Wellington to Utrecht, were asked about the kinds of noises they heard regularly. The resulting report, entitled ‘Coping With Noise,’ shows that noise exposure and consequent ‘noise sickness’ is increasing in large cities everywhere.
Interestingly, the USA was rated the noisiest country in the world and New York City claimed the title of ‘Noisiest City on Earth’ with a massive 36% of New York respondents experiencing high noise exposure levels.
Across the Atlantic, Londoners – by contrast – were less exposed with only 7% experiencing a similar noise level. Italy ranked a distant second in the survey with residents of Naples experiencing the most noise in the country and France, the UK and Portugal tied for a third, slightly quieter place.
Closer to home, Australia rated somewhere in the middle – not the noisiest country in the world, but far from the quietest either. Brisbane topped the charts locally with 6% of residents experiencing a high level of noise, with Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide coming in at a close second.
Fascinatingly, the types of noise exposure varied significantly throughout the country. Perth residents experienced the most road and traffic noise – with 36% exposed to a high or medium level. While Brisbanites endured the most noise from neighbours. Residents of Melbourne experienced the most noise due to ‘conversations of others’ – perhaps reflecting the city’s strong café culture.
Of course, if you’re seeking real quiet, you could move to the country – or maybe just pick a city in Germany. Only 2% of urban residents in Germany are exposed to high levels of noise, even the inhabitants of bustling Munich experience levels only slightly above this figure. In fact, the city is even more peaceful than much smaller towns such as Adelaide and Wellington. Sehr gut for lovers of the quiet life!