How Neighborly Are Americans? Not Very
November 30, 2017
Nearly 30 percent of Americans admit they don’t know their neighbor’s first name. But at least 90 percent have smiled or spoken to their neighbors—at least once, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 Americans released by Safehome.org, a home security systems review resource.
Fifty-three percent of Americans say they’ve introduced themselves when a new neighbor initially moved in, but they won’t likely become best buddies. Only a fraction of Americans—34 percent—say they’ve been in their neighbor’s home or vice versa, and only 16 percent have hung out with neighbors outside of the neighborhood.
Baby boomers tend to be the most neighborly generation, according to the survey. Sixty-seven percent of baby boomers said they’ve spoken to their next-door neighbor frequently, while only 36 percent of millennials have said they’ve done the same.
In a look at neighborly behavior across ethnic lines, Asian-Americans were found to participate the least among in neighborly reactions at 39 percent, followed by Hispanic participants at 40 percent. Caucasians and African-Americans performed more neighborly reactions—such as smiling and chatting—at 49 percent and 46 percent, respectively. Sixty-three percent of all respondents reported not often speaking to neighbors of a different race.
“Knowing your neighbors doesn’t just extend your social circle—it can also have a good effect on your mental and physical health and increase the security of your home,” according to the Safehome.org report. “You may even have a friend, partner, confidante, or baby sitter living next door that you never even knew existed.”
Source: “A Nation of Neighbors,” Safehome.org (November 2017)
Updated: September 20, 2019