Study shows: Living like this can make us happier
If we feel comfortable among our neighbors, it also increases our mood and satisfaction. But what can help? A new study may have the answer.
The more cultures in one spot, the better. This seems to be the finding of a study from Washington DC. She examined the satisfaction of residents in various neighborhoods. “The perception is often that multicultural areas are unstable, precisely because white families move away. But our research could help show people that the quality of life there can improve over the long term,” explains Michael Bader, senior author the study.
A generation ago, studies often found that white people, in particular, viewed mixed neighborhoods negatively, Bader said. That’s why he and the research team also focused on Washington DC, where the suburbs and neighborhoods have the highest number of integrated cultures. 1,500 residents in 100 multi-cultural neighborhoods were surveyed. A full 70 percent of them said they were happy in their neighborhood. According to the researchers, attitudes have changed significantly for the better. This could be because it can break down prejudices when people regularly meet other cultures. This was found out, for example, among friends with different religions or ethnicities. In another US study with 300,000 respondents, residents also stated that they were happier in neighborhoods with a higher number of black people.
A stronger sense of community
34.5 percent of the people from the neighborhoods examined in Michael Bader’s study stated that their area had improved in recent years. 54 percent said the situation had remained the same – and only 11.5 percent said it had gotten worse. This information was provided by whites, blacks and Latin Americans. However, Blacks, Asians and Latinos:Latinas felt that the neighborhood had improved more often than Whites. Unfortunately, putting people from different backgrounds in one spot doesn’t help. You also need to get to know each other. Researchers found, for example, that diverse communities also generally improved perceptions of the value of diversity. However, this result is not yet representative.
Sources used: phys.org, researchoutreach.org, npr.org