In these exceptional locations, folks tend to put others first.

By Maggie Seaver
October 15, 2020
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What’s a place to live without kind, helpful, and generous neighbors who take pride in their city and its people? When looking for a new place to live, or even taking stock of where you currently live, evaluating the neighborliness of a location should be a top priority. Good neighbors and a strong sense of community—not just its safety and crime rates—are what make a town or city that much more amazing to call home. It’s something Americans have grown to appreciate especially this year, as people continue to rely on the kindness of neighbors and even nearby strangers for support and supplies during such a challenging and novel time.    

But what exactly makes a great neighbor—and even broader, a great neighborhood? Storage company Neighbor (think: Airbnb for storage space) did some digging and analysis to answer that very question. Using data such as residents’ amount and frequency of charitable donations, hours spent volunteering, hours spent informally volunteering (e.g., doing unplanned favors for friends and neighbors), and more, Neighbor compiled a definitive list of the 25 most neighborly cities in the U.S. Based on Neighbor’s calculations, folks in these cities, overall, give generously, don’t cause problems (you know what we’re talking about), have their neighbors’ backs, and put others in the community first.

Leading the pack at number one is Augusta, Ga. Neighbor’s analysis found that 87.5 percent of itemized tax returns filed by Augusta residents included charitable giving, and that the average amount given was close to $7,000. Not to mention that almost a quarter of the Augustans put in hours volunteering for an organization, and about 9 percent of them reported forms of informal volunteering, like getting groceries for neighbors, carpooling with coworkers, and other wonderful, neighborly things. Salt Lake City, Utah, is another location that boasts an impressive neighborliness score. Some stats to prove it? More than 83 percent of people who filed itemized tax returns in Salt Lake gave to charity, giving an average itemized donation of $9,274—nearly 6 percent of their total income (the fourth highest amount in the entire U.S., according to Neighbor!). Offering rides to neighbors is one of the most helpful things you can do, and with a carpool rate of 12 percent (that’s 3 percent higher than the national average), Salt Lakers take this responsibility seriously. 

Here’s the full list of America’s top 25 most generous and neighborly cities, based on Neighbor’s methodology.

Neighbor
  1. Augusta, Ga.
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Columbia, S.C.
  4. Lancaster, Pa.
  5. Portland, Ore.
  6. Minneapolis, Minn.
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Spokane, Wash.
  9. Greenville, S.C.
  10. Rochester, N.Y.
  11. Ogden, Utah
  12. Jacksonville, Fla.
  13. Seattle, Wash.
  14. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  15. Sacramento, Calif.
  16. Bridgeport, Conn.
  17. Lakeland, Fla.
  18. Baton Rouge, La.
  19. Denver, Colo.
  20. Grand Rapids, Mich
  21. Tucson, Ariz.
  22. Philadelphia, Pa.
  23. Charlotte, N.C.
  24. Honolulu, Hawaii
  25. Fort Myers, Fla.