The opportunity and challenge of faith-based civic engagement.

The opportunity and challenge of diversity

Community connectedness linked to happiness and vibrant communities

Dimensions of social capital

Variation between communities/community analysis

Survey design, methodology, and other housekeeping details

Raw data available from Roper Center

Table 1
Communities Surveyed, Geography of Area, and Sample Size

Table 2
Effective Sample Sizes and 95% Confidence Intervals for Percentage Estimates


Variation between communities/community analysis

While the survey contained a national reference sample, the heart of the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey consisted of 40 American communities taking stock of their levels of local social capital. A website for the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey at: http://www.cfsv.org/communitysurvey highlights what each of the communities believe is interesting about their data, and compares the communities on the 11 key social capital dimensions discussed above: social trust, inter-racial trust, conventional politics participation, protest politics participation, civic leadership, associational involvement, informal socializing, diversity of friendships, giving and volunteering, faith-based engagement, and equality of civic engagement across the community.

Note: we have chosen to compare the communities using what we call "Community Quotients."  We have done so since the communities sampled are so varied and since the choice of whom to poll was left entirely up to the partnering institutions.  We needed to standardize the comparisons so that one community choosing only to sample the inner city would not be compared falsely to another community surveying the entire metro area and so that a rural community could be compared to an urban one. [6]

Along every dimension of social capital (such as social trust, faith-based participation, etc.) a community quotient (CQ) score shows a community's performance on this dimension relative to what was predicted given its urbanicity, ethnicity, levels of education and age distribution.  A score above 100 indicates that a community shows more of this community connectedness than its demographics would predict; conversely, a score below 100 indicates that a community shows less of this type of social capital than its demographics would suggest. Roughly 68% of all communities would fall in the 85-115 range, and almost 95% of all communities would fall in the 70-130 range.

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