Do you know your neighbors? Survey reveals that nearly 1 in 4 people are living somewhere with “no sense of community spirit” in their neighborhood.
LONDON — In decades past, it wasn’t uncommon at all for the average family to know each and every one of their neighbors living close by on the same street. Those dwelling on the same block would regularly gather for holiday parties in the winter, and barbecues during the summer. As the years have gone by, however, people have slowly become more inclined to keep to themselves and shy away from even greeting or speaking to their neighbors.
Now, a new survey of 2,000 British adults shows the staggering extent to which the concept of a neighborhood community has fallen by the wayside. In all, 75% say they consider their neighbors mere acquaintances at best. Sadly, nearly a quarter wouldn’t dream of knocking on one of their doors uninvited because there is “no sense of community spirit” in their neighborhood.
The survey, commissioned by Lottoland, also found that one in 10 modern adults might as well be living next to an empty house as they only see their neighbors less than once per month. Still, four in 10 say they are at least “friendly” with a few of their neighbors, but still wouldn’t call them actual friends. The average survey respondent reports knowing the names of just five people living on their street.
Shockingly, one in 20 couldn’t name a single other person from his or her block.
Many people are ultimately fine with not knowing their neighbors; 56% say they have no interest in getting to know those who live next door any better than they already do. But, the survey did find that people living in rural areas (18%) are more likely to have friends in their neighborhood than city dwellers (15%).
Interestingly, despite the survey’s findings that most people aren’t friends with their neighbors, one in six are still part of a local neighborhood safety watch group. Inner city residents (22%) were found to be more likely to join such a group than people living in the country (14%).
While many wouldn’t consider their neighbors friends, a good portion are still willing to ask a favor or two: one in five have been asked to feed one of their neighbor’s pets while they were away, and 39% have taken out the trash for a nearby resident. Additionally, 10% have gone food shopping for a neighbor in need, and 23% have watered a one’s plants.
Perhaps the most unbelievable statistic of all: 10% say they would actually share their winnings with their next door neighbor if they won the lottery!
So, how are modern adults breaking the ice with their street mates? While four in 10 say they’ve thought about greeting one of their neighbors at home, 24% say they don’t want to come across as clingy or creepy, and 22% say there just isn’t enough local community spirit for them to comfortably visit a neighbor’s house.
However, the survey did uncover a few unique situations in which adults would knock on their neighbor’s door. All in all, 44% would go next door if they were locked out of their home, 29% would visit a neighbor to borrow a tool, and 22% would visit a nearby house if they needed help watering their plants.
Of course, it’s also fairly easy to come into conflict with neighbors as well. A blocked driveway has led to 10% of respondents arguing with a neighbor, and the same percentage have been annoyed with a neighbor due to a noisy party or just excessive noise in general.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.