There is broad agreement that Social Capital—that is, the social safety net resulting from informal bonds between community members—can positively impact the lives of individuals and families. There is less agreement, however, on how best to measure, or even define, social capital. Interpersonal relationships, strong social support networks, and high levels of trust have each been described as sources of individual well-being and social cohesion.
Measuring social capital in Hawaii is challenging, especially at the community level. Even at the state level, available measures of social capital are limited. However, we propose that one indicator, gleaned from Census data, can offer some insight into community-level social capital:
This measure offers an inferential glimpse into the strength of social bonds within a community. Communities with high rates of residential turnover, for example, would also be expected to have lower levels of social capital because neighborhoods in transition may have weakened interpersonal ties. Conversely, researchers have found that longer residential tenure is associated with more social support, more local friendships, and higher rates of participation in local organizations.
Use the interactive infographic below to explore this indicator of Social Capital in more detail:
Our Indicators Dashboard can help you begin exploring specific measures of the 10 well-being domains. Interested in learning how each indicator varies over time and across Hawaii’s communities? Click below to head to our dashboard:
Data Plotter Tool
What’s the relationship between various well-being indicators? And how might this relationship vary from island to island, or region to region? Click below to explore the answers to these and similar questions using our Data Plotter: