Before moving out of my parents’ house, I had been living in the same neighborhood for almost 10 years. But if you were to ask me for the names of all the families next door, I couldn’t tell you.
Turns out that I’m not alone. Few Americans today say they know their neighbors’ names, and far fewer report interacting with them on a daily basis. Pulling data from the General Social Survey, economist Joe Cortright wrote in a recent City Observatory report that only about 20 percent of Americans spent time regularly with the people living next to them. A third said they’ve never interacted with their neighbors. That’s a significant decline from four decades ago, when a third of Americans hung out with their neighbors at least twice a week, and only a quarter reported no interaction at all.