Neighbour and traffic noise annoyance at home – prevalence and trends among Danish adults

Invited paper

Birgit Rasmussen

Danish Building Research Institute

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 11:20 - 11:40

Auditorium 2 (592)

Neighbour and traffic are affecting many people in their everyday life, implying adverse effects on quality of life and health. In many countries, the most dominant noise sources disturbing people in their homes are traffic and neighbours. The aims of the present study were to examine the prevalence of adult Danes that are annoyed in their home by noise from neighbours and traffic, respectively, and to examine the trends over time. Data are derived from the Danish Health and Morbidity Surveys in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2013. The sample sizes were quite large (approx. 25,000 individuals per survey) with adequate response rates varying from 57% to 74%. All samples were drawn at random from the adult Danish population (16 years or older). The purpose of the surveys was to describe the status and trends in health and morbidity in the adult Danish population and the factors that influence health status. Noise annoyance was assessed by asking the respondent whether they had been annoyed by noise from road traffic or noise from neighbours, respectively, in their home during the past two weeks. The possible answer categories was: ‘Yes, very annoyed’, ‘yes, slightly annoyed’, ‘no’. The prevalence of adult Danes that have been very or slightly annoyed by traffic noise have increased from 6.3% in 2000 to 9.6% in 2013. During the same period, noise annoyance from neighbours has almost doubled to 15.4% of adult Danes that have been very or slightly annoyed during the past two weeks. However, the prevalence varies strikingly between house types. Thus, the prevalence was 32.7% among individuals living in multi-storey housing and less than 10% among individuals living in row, double and detached houses. The paper compares the Danish results with findings from surveys in a few other European countries, and the methodologies will be discussed.

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