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Membership in Organizations

The degree to which residents are members of community organizations is one measure of the community’s social capital. In communities with high social capital, residents are able to draw upon one another as resources to help navigate through life's challenges. Membership in organizations helps foster the connections between people necessary for them to feel comfortable helping others in their community.

Across all demographics, more residents — 64 percent — said they were members of religious groups than any other type of organization. This is two-thirds larger than the 34 percent belonging to charitable organizations, which has the next highest participation rate. Older adults, blacks, those employed part-time, homemakers, and those with incomes between $100,000 and $150,000 are the groups most likely to be members of religious groups, with participation rates exceeding 70 percent. As might be expected, participation in a sports league declines with age, while participation in an education group is highest for adults in their peak child-rearing years of 35-44.