Neighboring in America is up: In 2008, a full 31% of Americans reported that they did not know any of their neighbors by name; in 2010, only 18% of Americans do not know the name of at least some of their neighbors.
What explains this trend? It might be that the persistence of the poor economic conditions of the American economy has prompted — or necessitated — that people to turn to their neighbors for informal support. It would be premature to suggest that this current trend is part of a gradual increase in social capital in America.
Additionally, when we controlled for demographic characteristics, we found that internet and non-internet users are equally as likely as others to know at least some of their neighbors. This is a departure from our findings in 2008 when we found that social networking site users were less likely to know the names of their neighbors.