Neighbourliness measures the percentage of the population that knows many or most of their neighbours.

Why This Matters

Neighbourliness is a measure of social capital in our community – the networks and connections between individuals. These connections build trust, and norms of social reciprocity. Knowing neighbours can help to create a sense of community, increases peoples’ feelings of safety and can help prevent crime (people looking out for each other).

Measurement and Limitations

Neighbourliness measures the percentage of people who said that they know many or most of their neighbours. Data for this indicator is obtained from Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey. The survey collects data from people in all provinces via telephone interviews. The intention of the survey is to provide national and provincial estimates. Sample sizes for municipal estimates are small, so results may show greater variability from year to year, and should be used with caution.

Due to the survey methods (telephone interview), response rates vary by population. Some population groups are under-represented: “those who tend to have only cell phones (e.g. young, single, urban Canadians) or those without a telephone (e.g. those with lower incomes and education levels)” (Statistics Canada 2009). Statistics Canada reports that coverage is good, “but has been declining in recent years with the increase in cell-phone only households. Response rates for the GSS are between 57% and 83%, depending on the year and survey topic” (Statistics Canada 2009). The General Social Survey is now undertaken every 5 years.

Data Source

Statistics Canada (n.d.) General Social Survey. Retrieved from:

Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.


OECD. OECD Insights – Human Capital. What is social capital? Available at:

Statistics Canada. 2009. Retrieved from:


Neighbourliness in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

16. Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.