Neighbours, by the Numbers

How trustworthy do you think your neighbours might be? Could you rely on the people next door in a pinch? How often do you visit with your neighbours?

A British survey by Allianz Insurance⁠ was done in 2014 to try and understand how people today see their neighbours. Another was conducted by the Eden Project in 2013. Here is what they found, the numbers are interesting:

7 in 10 people chat to their neighbours at least weekly
6 in 10 say their neighbours are friendly and half are considered polite 
7 in 10 would trust their neighbours to pick up a parcel for them
4 in 10 make a point of keeping a watchful eye on their neighbour’s home while they are away
3 in 10 neighbours lend tools to each other
3 in 10 would happily give a spare house key to a neighbour
1 in 10 would ask a neighbour for a cup of sugar if they ran out
7 in 10 would as their neighbour for help in an emergency
3 in 10 people say they feel safer knowing that they have a neighbour who would help them if needed.
1 in 10 people are too shy to start up a conversation and admit to not knowing their neighbours at all
4 in 10 say they make a point of welcoming a new neighbour to town
2 in 10 say they never see their neighbours
1 in 10 say they have experienced noisy neighbours before 
2 in 10 said that their next door neighbours were very private. 

These numbers may be from neighbourhoods in Britain, but they could very well reflect the sentiment of neighbours here in Chestermere. What do you think when you see these numbers?  Are they telling a positive or negative story about the state of neighbourhood life today? If a survey was done here, what would be your answers?

There is hope for neighbourhood relationships found in these studies. They found that the vast majority of people deeply wanted better connections to others in their neighbourhoods. 75% of people would like more community spirit in their city and over half feel that a better community spirit would make them happier and help them make new friends. Chances are that your next door neighbours look forward to connecting with you, even if it’s just to help when challenges arise.

There is one number that sticks out to me the most. Almost half of everyone surveyed said that they have experienced something surprising as a result of meeting a neighbour. So whether you keep to yourself or you are outgoing, whether you give out your house key or your life is private; the fact that so many people have discovered something good from meeting their neighbours should give us all encouragement to step out and make our city better by simply connecting with those on our street.

There’s a 10 in 10 chance you have neighbours nearby. Any numbers after that, are up to you.

About the author

Preston Pouteaux

Preston Pouteaux

Preston is a pastor at Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere and experiments mostly in the intersection of faith and neighbourhood. Into the Neighbourhood explores how we all contribute to creating a healthy and vibrant community. Preston is also a beekeeper; a reminder that small things make a big difference.

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