Sixteen Million Neighbors: A Multilevel Study of the Role of Neighbors in the Personal Networks of the Dutch

Völker, B. & Flap, H., 2007, In : Urban Affairs Review. 43, 2, p. 256 1 p.

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  • Beate Völker
  • Henk Flap
This article discusses the role of neighbors in the personal networks of people living in the Netherlands. It aims to establish the conditions for the inclusion of neighbors in such a network. Three complementary theoretical perspectives for developing hypotheses are employed: meeting opportunities, sharing groups, and social capital. Arguments are tested using nationally representative data (N = 902) and multilevel regression models. The results show that all three perspectives contribute to explain the number of neighbor relations in personal networks, although none of the theoretical perspectives is fully confirmed. Interestingly, local facilities such as primary schools and day care facilities, which draw their members not only from the neighborhood but also from a larger local area, influence the likelihood of including neighbors in personal networks: primary schools encourage these relations, while the existence of day care facilities discourages neighboring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256
Number of pages1
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • explanation of neighboring, meeting opportunities, neighbor relationships, multilevel analysis

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