In this study, we examine the relationship between neighborhood-based social capital and residents’ life satisfaction by considering resident heterogeneity. Using a database of the city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, we find a small but significant positive association between neighborhood-based social capital and individual life satisfaction. However, we also find considerable differences among residents because neighborhood-based social capital is important mainly for people who are more likely to spend considerable time in the neighborhood or who are more neighborhood dependent (i.e. less-educated people, people who live on welfare, people with poor health, retired people, and those who are divorced or widowed). Our results confirm the importance of neighborhood-based social capital for residents’ life satisfaction in terms of both actual social contacts with neighbors and the perceived social cohesion within a neighborhood. At the same time, the importance of neighborhood-based social capital varies among different groups of residents. These findings have important implications for policy-makers.

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Keywords heterogeneity, Life satisfaction, neighborhoods, social cohesion, social contacts
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Journal Urban Geography
Hoogerbrugge, M.M, & Burger, M.J. (2018). Neighborhood-Based social capital and life satisfaction. Urban Geography, 1–26. doi:10.1080/02723638.2018.1474609