connectedness linked to happiness and vibrant communities
capital and social trust matter a lot for both the quality of
life in our communities and our personal happiness.
connectedness is a much stronger predictor of the perceived
quality of life in a community than the community's income or
educational level. In the five communities surveyed having
the highest social trust, 52% of residents rated their community
as an excellent place to live, the highest possible grade.
In the five communities with the lowest levels of social trust,
only 31% felt that good about their quality of life.
personal happiness is also much more closely tied to the level
of community social connectedness and trust than to income or
educational levels. This is true, even controlling for
individual characteristics, such as income, education, and so
on. That is, even comparing two persons of identical income,
education, race, age, and so on, the one living in a high social
capital community typically reports greater personal happiness
than his/her "twin" living in a low social capital
community. The same thing is not true of the overall level
of community income or education. In other words, your
personal happiness is not directly affected by the affluence
of your community, but it is quite directly affected by the
social connectedness of your community.