Living Next Door
Social capital: support and involvement
Whether took action to solve a local problem and whether felt civically engaged by age: Great Britain, 2000
In 2000/01, 73 per cent of people in Great Britain believed neighbours in their area looked out for each other and 87 per cent enjoyed living in their local area.
Civic engagement. More than half of people felt well informed about local affairs (59 per cent) and that communities could influence decisions (56 per cent), but only a minority felt that they personally could influence decisions in the area (26 per cent). Eighteen per cent ‘felt civically engaged’. That is, they felt well informed, believed they could influence decisions and agreed that local people could affect decisions relating to their neighbourhood. People aged 16 to 29 were the least likely to feel civically engaged.
Neighbourliness. Just under half of people (46 per cent) said that they knew most or many people in their neighbourhood, while more than half (58 per cent) felt they could trust most or many people in their neighbourhood.
Social networks. Two-thirds (66 per cent) had a ‘satisfactory friendship network’. That is they saw or spoke to friends at least once a week and had a close friend living nearby. Just over half (52 per cent) had a ‘satisfactory relatives network’. Twenty per cent had neither.
Social support. More than half of respondents had at least five people they could turn to in a serious personal crisis (58 per cent), 18 per cent had less than three people they could turn to. One in fifty (2 per cent) said they had nobody to turn to.
Perceptions of the local area. The speed or volume of traffic and parking in residential streets were the items most likely to be seen as a problem.
However many had a positive view of the local facilities; 77 per cent felt that rubbish collection was good or very good and 71 per cent rated local health services as good or very good.
Source: General Household Survey, 2000, Office for National Statistics
The module in the General Household Survey (commissioned by the Health Development Agency) was one of the first national surveys designed to measure social capital, and covered five different aspects of social capital.