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Neighborliness

Neighborliness

Comfort Level

  • The regional trend is continuing to improve – more than 75% of Central Texans are comfortable asking a neighbor for help. The gap between counties in any year has not changed since 2000; neighborliness is prevalent throughout the region.
Comfort Level

Survey Question: Suppose you needed some kind of help or a small favor. How comfortable would you be asking one of your neighbors for help?

Comfort Level by Tenure in Central Texas

  • Length of residence affects the degree of comfort people feel with seeking help from their neighbors. Those living here longer are more likely to be “very” comfortable.
  • However, there is little variability by tenure among those “not at all” comfortable seeking help.
Comfort Level by Tenure in Central Texas

Survey Question: Suppose you needed some kind of help or a small favor. How comfortable would you be asking one of your neighbors for help?

Comfort Level by Income

  • The level of comfort varies relatively little across income groups, with the exception of households making $15,000 to $35,000 in annual income. Nearly 10% fewer of these households feel at least somewhat comfortable compared to other income groups.
  • Somewhat surprising is the level of comfort of very poor households (less than $15,000 in annual income). More than 80% feel at least somewhat comfortable asking for help. In 2008, almost 30% of the respondents in this group indicated that they were “not at all comfortable.”
Comfort Level by Income

Survey Question: Suppose you needed some kind of help or a small favor. How comfortable would you be asking one of your neighbors for help?

Comfort Level by Race/Ethnicity

  • The level of comfort is not as strong for minority populations as it is for Whites; 21% of African Americans are “not at all comfortable” asking a neighbor for help, however this is down from 31% in 2008.
Comfort Level by Race/Ethnicity

Survey Question: Suppose you needed some kind of help or a small favor. How comfortable would you be asking one of your neighbors for help?

CURRENT STATE

In all, three of four Central Texans trust their neighbors, but this varies by income and race/ethnicity groups.

IDEAL STATE

Central Texans know their neighbors and can call on them for assistance if needed.

CONTEXT

Neighborliness, as measured in the CTSIP Community Survey by “trust,” is inherently a subjective, qualitative issue. Trust is built many different ways, all of which involve some level of personal commitment to a formal relationship such as through a neighborhood association, business group, or church, or informal relationship through casual or virtual contact (fence post conversation, e-mail, web).

Trust and neighborliness is also directly affected by the real and perceived change of the neighborhood in response to economic forces, crime rates, and turnover (the churn of people moving in and out).