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Ga. city named ‘most neighborly’ community in America in new ranking

By Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Augusta took No. 1 spot on list of 25 ‘most neighborly’ cities in U.S.

In these uncertain times, there could be few better assets than having a good neighbor.

Neighbor, a Utah-based online marketplace and self-storage company, has gathered some expert data to measure which American communities’ residents are doing their best to look out for their fellow neighbor. The website published a list of the top 25 “most neighborly” cities in the country Monday.

What makes a good neighbor?

It’s about what one would think.

“People looking out for each other, doing favors for one another, and just acting like good neighbors,” according to a news release about the ranking. “Then, we analyzed that data to see which cities in the U.S. have the best neighbors — and are the most neighborly.”

The site considered the most recent Housing and Urban Development study, showing crime rates in U.S. cities, which in turn, according to Neighbor.com, reveals a connection between lower crime rates and “strong community bonds” and a “sense of community well-being” in American towns.

Other primary elements of the site’s methodology include:

Charitable giving;

“Formal volunteering,” or volunteering for organizations;

“Informal volunteering,” or doing favors for friends, family and neighbors;

Community well-being, which came from a study that surveyed people on whether they felt safe, happy and proud of their home communities.

The city that happened to exhibit all of the above happens to be in Georgia, just two hours east of Atlanta. Augusta was named the No. 1 most neighborly place in the U.S. The ranking found that 87.5% of itemized tax returns filed by people living in Augusta included charitable giving. Additionally, the average amount that those folks donated to charity was nearly $7,000, according to data obtained from the IRS data compiled by Magnify Money.

A report about volunteering and civic engagement showed that nearly 25% of Augusta’s population has put in hours volunteering for an organization of their choosing and another 11.2% of Augustans choose to carpool to help out their fellow citizen.

“Almost 9 percent of people reported doing some “informal volunteering,” which includes doing favors for friends and neighbors. That’s the very definition of being neighborly,” read a portion of the Neighbor.com statement about Augusta.

There were 24 other cities that were considered the bee’s knees of neighbors. Take a look at the complete top 25 list below:

Augusta

Salt Lake City

Columbia, South Carolina

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Portland, Oregon

Minneapolis

Washington, D.C.

Spokane, Washington

Greenville, South Carolina

Rochester, New York

Ogden, Utah

Jacksonville, Florida

Seattle

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sacramento, California

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Lakeland, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Denver

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Tucson, Arizona

Philadelphia

Charlotte, North Carolina

Honolulu

Fort Myers, Florida