Tribes of Europe: exploring attitudes to the European Union

Following a survey of over 10,000 people in ten European nations, researchers at Chatham House identified six ‘Tribes of Europe’, whose members share similar political views, life experiences and attitudes to the EU. Applied Works were asked to create a website that allows users to explore the results, and find out which tribe they most closely match.

The Survey

Chatham House worked with Kantar Public to conduct a detailed survey in late 2016 across 10 European Countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK). The questionnaire asked over 10,000 participants about topics spanning their attitudes to the EU, immigration and the refugee crisis to their life satisfaction, economic status and political views, as well as information such as level of education, profession and how many languages they speak.

The Tribes

Using data from the survey and latent class analysis – a commonly used statistical tool that clusters like-minded respondents together – researchers at Chatham House classified six political ‘Tribes of Europe’, all transcending national boundaries: Hesitant Europeans (the largest group with 36% of the sample), Contented Europeans (23%), EU Rejecters (14%), Frustrated Pro Europeans (9%), Austerity Rebels (9%) and EU Federalists (8%).

Each tribe represents highly differing values and attitudes, whilst individuals within each group share similar opinions and life experiences and tend to behave similarly at elections. We commissioned Belle Mellor to create illustrations that capture the sentiment and attitude of the six tribes, each based around a central European star.

Taking the Test

The site allows users to see which tribe they’re most and least like via a simplified set of eight questions, displaying a likeness score and defining characteristics of each tribe. Their result can then be shared via social media. The site also visualises how each tribe and country answered specific questions, revealing distinct nuances of public attitudes that challenge the conventional ‘pro’ or ‘anti’-EU spectrum of opinion.

The site launched in 9 languages across Europe in December 2017, supported by a lead feature on BBC news, and was widely shared across social media. With nearly 90,000 visitors in the first four weeks of launch, and 97% of visitors completing the test, Tribes of Europe has become Chatham House’s most engaged piece of digital content to date. It also won a Digital Communications Award in 2018.

Applied Works have shown consistent attention to detail, and a real interest in understanding the data we were visualising, and the messages we wanted to convey. We had a vision for this project and we’re delighted with the way it has come together in the final product.

Thomas Raines, Manager of the Europe Programme at Chatham House

Take the test:
Illustrations: Belle Mellor