What do you know about your neighbors?
A recent Brainerd lakes area social capital survey may provide a few interesting and perhaps surprising answers about trust, charity and happiness.
Research on the subject indicates communities rich in social capital tend to have desirable attributes - higher achievements in education, better performances in government, faster economic growth and less crime and violence.
The survey involved 560 area residents covering a variety of ages, backgrounds and communities. The Dispatch will be delving into those results in the next few weeks through a series of articles.
Perhaps there will be food for thought in looking at whether neighbors trust each other and whether they consider themselves healthy and happy. Other topics to be considered include political and social involvement. Are people politically engaged? Are they socially active - either in the community or with friends? The survey results will consider how the Brainerd area compares to other survey communities and the nation.
For example, compared to the national survey, area residents are more active and a much higher percent volunteer. The results will be divided into three major installments in the coming weeks. Future stories will examine survey results for community involvement and religious activity. Are residents charitable? How many regularly attend weekly worship services?
And then there are those subjects that may have general interest. Such as, how many residents list television as their primary form of entertainment? Do answers vary greatly between Brainerd and Baxter and Crosslake or Pequot Lakes?
The results just may be revealing or confirm what you already suspected. Either way, it should be interesting.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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