Do you trust your neighbors? Data compiled by the National Conference on Citizenship indicates that Connecticut residents outpace the national average on the neighborliness scale. The report indicates the 17.9% of Connecticut residents trust “all of the people” in their neighborhood, compared with 15.6% nationally. In addition, 43.6% of Connecticut residents trust “most of the people” in their neighborhood, slightly higher than the national average of 41.1%. The study, done in conjunction with the Corporation for National & Community Service, also found that 72.8 percent of Connecticut residents “do favors for their neighbors” – again exceeding the U.S. average of 65.1%.
Social cohesion, highlighted in the NCoC report Volunteering and Civic Life in America, is made up of key indicators of how individuals engage with their neighbors—how often do we talk with one another, help each other out, and how much do we trust the people in our communities? High levels of social cohesion are critical to individual and community well-being.
The data shows that these areas are worth exploring and strengthening further across the country, the organization reported. Just 13.3% of Americans said that they talk with their neighbors every day and 30.4% do a few times a week. However, a full 13.5% of Americans report never talking with their neighbors. When asked if they exchange favors with neighbors, such as watching each other’s children, helping with shopping, or lending garden or house tools, only 14% of Americans do so everyday or a few times a week. A striking 35% of Americans report never engaging in this behavior.
Looking out for one’s neighbors often connects directly to levels of trust in a neighborhood. Of individuals that indicated they trust all or most of their neighbors, approximately 4 in 5 (77%) said they do favors for their neighbors a few times per year or more. In contrast, of individuals that indicate they trust none of their neighbors, only 24% said they do favors for their neighbors.
Nationally, 15.6% of Americans report they trust all of their neighbors, 41.1% report they trust most, 34.6% report they trust only some, and 8.7% trust no one in their neighborhood.
The 2013 National Conference on Citizenship will be held September 19-20 in Washington D.C. The theme for this year's conference is "America's Charter: Past, Present, and Future." Throughout 2013, NCoC celebrates the 60th anniversary of the organization’s Congressional charter, which charged them to explore the meaning of and find ways to increase active citizenship in America. The event and celebration will help participants “understand the significance of where we've been as a country, the civic reawakening we are experiencing now, and how we carry this revitalized sense of purpose forward.”