If you’re in the market for a home, don’t underestimate the importance of friendly neighbors. Being on good terms with the folks next door means a chance to share resources, swap baby-sitting and make lifelong friendships.
Polling company YouGov surveyed a sample of residents from 20 major U.S. metro areas in its 2018 Citybus poll.
YouGov asked respondents two sets of two questions:
- One concerned friendliness: Respondents were deemed friendly if they reported spending time with neighbors regularly or were friendly with them although they don’t spend much time together. They were deemed unfriendly if they knew neighbors’ names “but that’s about it,” or didn’t know them at all.
- A second set of questions concerned whether the people polled trusted their neighbors.
We report the results below by listing the rankings of the 20 cities studied from least-friendly to the friendliest. The percentages shown may not add up to 100 percent, since small percentages of respondents didn’t know an answer, or had no neighbors.
See if you can guess which major city is friendliest of all.
20. Phoenix: 56 percent friendly
Phoenix lands at the bottom of the list: only 56 percent of residents meet the friendly standard, YouGov found.
Of the rest, 4 percent reported having no neighbors, and the remaining 40 percent fell into the “unfriendly” category.
What’s more, 21 percent said that they don’t trust their neighbors, making Phoenix the second-most distrustful city surveyed.
19. Chicago: 57 percent friendly
Not just the weather can be frosty in Chicago.
Four in 10 city residents apparently aren’t friendly with neighbors, according to the survey results, and 21 percent don’t trust the folks next door.
Maybe bone-chilling winter weather and the city winds keep everyone inside.
18. Houston: 58 percent friendly
Like Phoenix residents, many people in Houston have a tendency to be both unfriendly and distrustful.
Houston ranked third from last in both cases.
“Majorities in all 20 cities are more likely to say they’re friendly than unfriendly,” YouGov says.
In Houston, 40 percent fell into the unfriendly category.
When it comes to trust, 20 percent of Houstonians said they distrust their neighbors and 69 percent said they trust them. Two percent reported having no neighbors.
17. Portland: 58 percent friendly
Apparently, part of keeping Portland weird is avoiding your neighbors.
Only 58 percent of city respondents told YouGov they were friendly with folks living around them.
Five percent didn’t have neighbors, and 37 percent of Portlanders were not friendly, by this definition, anyway.
Some 19 percent of Portland residents reported not trusting their neighbors.
16. Philadelphia: 59 percent friendly
In the City of Brotherly Love, only 59 percent of people reported being friendly with neighbors.
Meanwhile, 38 percent said they aren’t friendly with neighbors, and 3 percent said they don’t have any.
Residents of Philadelphia aren’t super trusting either. While 69 percent said they trust the neighbors, 19 percent did not.
15. Dallas: 60 percent friendly
Almost everyone has neighbors in Dallas, but 39 percent of survey respondents said they don’t know anything about them other than maybe their names.
The metro area also landed near the bottom of the rankings when it comes to trust. While 72 percent said they trust their neighbors, 20 percent said they don’t.
14. Seattle: 61 percent friendly
Seattle is home to good coffee, Fortune 500 companies and a killer fish market. But residents aren’t the friendliest.
Only 61 percent are on friendly terms with neighbors, while 37 percent don’t know the folks who live around them, according to survey results.
They are trusting though: 75 percent said they trust their neighbors and 17 percent had doubts.
13. Atlanta: 61 percent friendly
Southern hospitality only goes so far in Atlanta. Only 61 percent surveyed by YouGov could be considered friendly neighbors; 35 percent could not.
Four percent of survey respondents said they don’t have neighbors. But the city lands among the top 10 of this group for trust, with 74 percent saying they trust the people living nearby.
12. Denver: 62 percent friendly
If you move to Denver, don’t expect to be best buddies with everyone on the block.
Sixty-two percent of residents said they are friendly with neighbors, but 36 percent haven’t bonded with the folks next door.
On the positive side, three-quarters of Denver residents surveyed said they trust the folks around them.
11. Orlando: 63 percent friendly
Each year, millions of people descend on Orlando to visit attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Maybe all of those tourists make residents want to hide.
Only 63 percent of those surveyed are friendly with their neighbors, 2 percent have no neighbors and 35 percent aren’t friendly with neighbors.
As for trust, 74 percent reported that they can count on neighbors, 20 percent felt trusting and 2 percent had no neighbors.
10. San Francisco: 63 percent friendly
Only 63 percent of respondents in San Francisco reported being friendly with the neighbors.
However, in San Francisco, 3 percent of residents surveyed didn’t have neighbors, leaving 34 percent as the share who weren’t friendly with their neighbors.
San Franciscans are a trusting bunch, however, with 78 percent saying they trust those living nearby.
9. Washington, D.C.: 64 percent friendly
You would think “trust nobody” would be the motto for living in our nation’s capital, where political allies and adversaries can seem to change with the breeze.
But regular residents — or at least 78 percent of them, anyway — trust people who live nearby.
In fact, only 11 percent said they found their neighbors untrustworthy, the lowest number of any city in the survey.
That doesn’t necessarily translate into friendliness, however: 32 percent of D.C. respondents said they aren’t social with neighbors.
8. Boston: 65 percent friendly
With just 65 percent of surveyed residents saying they are friendly with neighbors, Boston isn’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat to newcomers.
Thirty-four percent of survey respondents weren’t friendly with those living nearby, and 1 percent said they don’t have neighbors.
But Boston shines when it comes to neighborly trust: 81 percent said they feel good about trustworthiness of neighbors, making the city the most-trusting of all those studied.
7. Tampa: 65 percent friendly
Tampa also clocks in with a 65 percent share of its population as friendly.
Three percent of residents surveyed had no neighbors, and 32 percent said they weren’t social with people living around them.
Tampa is the city that comes in dead last when it comes to trustfulness: Only 66 percent trust those who live near them, and a full one-fourth don’t trust their neighbors.
6. Minneapolis: 65 percent friendly
Up north in Minneapolis, among Minnesota’s nearly 10,000 lakes, nearly a third of residents — 30 percent to be exact — said they aren’t particularly friendly with their neighbors.
However, Minneapolis is the fourth most-trusting city surveyed, with 76 percent reporting they trust folks in their neighborhood.
5. Detroit: 67 percent friendly
Despite undergoing a renaissance in recent years, Detroit has long had a reputation for being a hardscrabble town. So, you might expect people to keep their heads down and mind their own business.
In reality, Motown has the fifth-friendliest residents in the country, according to YouGov’s survey, with 67 percent of those surveyed reporting that they are friendly with neighbors.
Twenty percent of people in Detroit doubt the trustworthiness of those living near them, however.
4. Los Angeles: 67 percent friendly
If you move to L.A., you may be worried about getting lost among the millions of metro-area residents.
However, your neighbors are likely to be friendly folks — or at least more friendly than in many other metro areas in the YouGov survey.
The survey found that 78 percent of Angelenos said they trust neighbors, giving Los Angeles fourth place in the rankings for both friendliness and neighborly trust.
3. Cleveland: 67 percent friendly
Cleveland rocks if you are looking for friendly neighborhoods.
Sixty-seven percent of residents surveyed said they are friendly with neighbors, and only 29 percent said they’re not.
Beyond that, 74 percent of Cleveland residents reported trusting their neighbors, while 19 percent didn’t feel so trusting.
2. Miami: 68 percent friendly
The YouGov survey found Miami to be the second-friendliest among the 20 cities, with 68 percent of Miami residents reporting spending time regularly with neighbors or being on friendly terms with them.
Three percent said they didn’t have neighbors, and 29 percent weren’t friendly with people living nearby.
Among Miami residents, the survey found, 17 percent didn’t trust their neighbors, while 74 percent said they did.
1. New York City: 71 percent friendly
New York City: It’s the friendliest city in this survey.
If you’re looking to move here in 2019, you might find a helping hand to carry your boxes up the stairs and a smiling face that becomes a friend for life.
Huge metropolis though it is, the Big Apple is anything but impersonal, with 71 percent polled saying they’re friendly with neighbors.
Nineteen percent, however, said they don’t trust their people who live next door.
How friendly are the people in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.