Test for neighbors: Who do Russians prefer not to live next to?


Date of Publication: 28.06.2012

Most Russians do not want to live next to drug addicts (82%) and people who often use hard liquor (62%) – this data is from a nationwide survey.

Third place in the “anti-neighborly” rating was shared by people with HIV infection (41%), people with a homosexual orientation (39%) and recently arrived from prison (37%). Also, the Russians would not want to divide the stairwell with visitors from Central Asia (30%) and breeders of a large number of pets (30%), and representatives of Caucasian ethnicity (24%), people practicing occultism (22%) and Chinese (20%). Less than 2% of Russians would not want to live next door to the priests, worshipers, very poor families, families with many children, next to lonely old people or disabled people. A small proportion of our countrymen did not want to have a block of civic activists (6%) or members of uniformed services (5%).

The most loyal and most definitive in the selection of neighbors …

Compared with other regions, the most tolerant of drug users are those in the Far East and North-West Federal District. Residents of the Far Eastern District, as well as the population of megacities and the respondents with the lowest incomes are the most loyal to the neighbors who like to drink. But AIDS patients and HIV-infected people in the Far Eastern district would not be wanted as neighbors to 61% of respondents, while in Moscow and the megacities, as well as the North-West Federal District, had the smallest proportion of respondents who would avoid this neighborhood (complete distribution of responses, see the Schedule and in the Table below).

For the most biased toward homosexuals that we interviewed were those with the lowest incomes: 48% have fear of gay neighbors, while at the same time in the North-West Federal District, only 17% or respondents admitted to their unwillingness to live next to people of homosexual orientation.

For neighbors who had returned from prison, 29% of men and 44% of the fair sex would avoid this situation. The most cautious of former prisoners are those from Moscow: a neighbor with a criminal record would not be welcomed by half of the inhabitants of the capital.

 Is There a Tolerance of Religion to Neighbors?


Among the unbelievers just a large proportion would not want to be neighbors with Muslims and Jewish neighbors.

Among Orthodox Christians, claiming to be part of Russian Orthodox Church, the proportion of those who did not want to see their neighbors be of Caucasian ethnic groups or people with criminal records was slightly higher than the average for Russia. An Orthodox member who does not regard themselves to the Church are more loyal than the average Russian, with respect to gay neighbors, owners of large numbers of domestic animals, and mentally disabled people.

Finally, Muslims in many ways, turned out to be the most loyal among representatives of different faiths in the neighborhood: Islam, a minimum share of supporters opposed to living next door to the Protestants, Buddhists and representatives of the Caucasian ethnic groups, immigrants from Central Asia, Chinese, black people and people with a criminal record. However, for patients with AIDS a few Muslims are categorically average Russian – 51% are against such a neighborhood.


Most Despised Group[1]

% In Group[2]

% In Russia[3]

Most Tolerant Group [4]

%In Group

%In Russia


 None selected

Former Criminals 29 37


Former Criminals 44 37

 None selected

Less than Average Education

 None selected

Practicers of Occult Religions 11 22
Former Criminals 28 37
Owners of many domestic animals 21 30

Lower Income

Homosexuals 48 39 People from Central Asia 19 30
Heavy Drinkers 50 62
Former Criminals 20 37

Childless People over 40

 None selected

People with AIDS 20 41
Chinese 9 20
Africans 7 16
People from Central Asia 18 30


Former Criminals 50 37 People with AIDS 33 41

Megacity Residents

Owners of many domestic animals 44 30 People with AIDS 30 41
Heavy Drinkers 52 61


 None selected

Owners of many domestic animals 12 30

North West Federal District

 None selected

Protestants 9 17
Homosexuals 17 39
People with AIDS 24 41
Drug Addicts 71 82

Siberian District

Chinese 36 20 Owners of many domestic animals 20 30

Far Eastern Federal District

People with AIDS 61 41 Africans 3 16
Heavy Drinkers 50 62
Drug Addicts 70 82

According to data of various faiths


Muslims 21 14

 None selected

Jews 16 10

Russian Orthodox Church (Connected to the Church)

Nationalities of the Caucasian Region 28 24

 None selected

Former Criminals 42 37

Russian Orthodox

 None selected

Homosexuals 29 39
Owners of many domestic animals 19 30
Mentally Ill 9 2


People with AIDS 51 41 Protestants 9 17

 None selected

Buddhists 4 14
Nationalities of people from the Caucasian Region 5 24
People from Central Asia 14 30
Chinese 7 20
Africans 7 16

The material is based on the results of nationwide survey in which the Russians were asked to answer the question “Can you tell me which of these you do not want to see as your neighbors? (Unlimited number of responses):

1. Families with children

2. Orthodox Church

3. Protestants (Adventists, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, etc.)

4. Muslims

5. Buddhists

6. The Caucasian Nationalities

7. Immigrants from Central Asia (Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Turkmens)

8. Chinese

9. People with dark skin

10. Jews

11. Members of the security or public services

12. Civil society activists, opposition-minded to power

13. People with a homosexual orientation

14. Physically handicapped people, people with disabilities

15. Mentally disabled people living with guardians

16. People who practice the occult activities

17. Members of the clergy

18. Very poor (with incomes significantly below average)

19. People who often use spirits

20. Addicts

21. People with AIDS, HIV-infected

22. Former Criminals, who came from places of detention

23. Lonely old people without constant assistance from their relatives

24. People who own a lot of pets

25. Do not know

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