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Select one or more countries and years and generate tables for all six Indices of Social Development and the underlying indicators.

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Clubs and Associations

Community ties are the first safety net of the poor. Where these ties are strong, individuals are better able weather the impact of sudden hardship, by relying on the support of their friends, neighbours, and locality.  Where these ties are weak, individuals are at greater risk of adversity in the event of poverty or natural disaster, and have fewer support networks to facilitate economic and social advancement.

Theories of social capital in economic development distinguish between ‘bonding’ capital – ties to people who are similar in terms of their demographic characteristics, such as family members, neighbours, close friends and work colleagues – and ‘bridging’ capital, that is, relations that cut across vertical lines by facilitating upward movement across economic, social, and regional divides. The emphasis is usually placed on the importance of bridging networks that cut across social divides, as these allow greater social mobility and more widespread access to important information. But for many of the world’s people bonding ties are essential in protecting against social precarity, providing essential protection, risk management, and solidarity functions. Bonding social ties, such as those found within families and local communities, help individuals ‘get by’. They play a critical role in preventing poverty and social exclusion, by ensuring that individuals who fall on hard times do not also ‘fall through the cracks’ - as well as securing individuals’ wellbeing through a system of social relations and a community of identity.

The strength of ties to neighbourhood and associational life is measured by taking data on membership of local voluntary groups, time spent socialising with relatives and in local clubs, attendance of community meetings, and participation in development associations.

Data Used

Indicator Source Countries
Respondent says that they use their free time to participate in voluntary associations Latinobarometer 18
Respondent says that they use their free time to work for local or community development groups Latinobarometer 18
Percentage respondents who are members of youth groups Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of women's groups Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of sports clubs Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of church groups Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who work for an issue that affects their community 'very frequently' or 'frequently' Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of labour unions Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of voluntary associations Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of a political party Latinobarometer 18
Percentage of respondents who are members of a cultural center Latinobarometer 18
Active or inactive member of religious group Afrobarometer 16
Active or inactive member of development association Afrobarometer 16
Has or would be prepared to attend community meeting Afrobarometer 16
Active or inactive member of labour union Afrobarometer 16
Active or inactive member of business group Afrobarometer 16
Percentage respondents saying that people generally help one another in their neighbourhood International Crime Victim Survey 59
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, church or religious organisation World Values Survey 57
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, sports or recreational organisation World Values Survey 58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, other voluntary associations World Values Survey 56
Participate in youth associations and groups World Values Survey 58
Belong to sports club World Values Survey 58
Respondent has conducted unpaid voluntary health work World Values Survey 54
Respondent belongs to conservational organisation World Values Survey 62
Respondent belongs to women's organisation World Values Survey 58
Respondent belongs to peace movement World Values Survey 56
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, arts, music, or educational organisation World Values Survey 58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, labour union World Values Survey 58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, environmental organisations World Values Survey 57
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, professional organisations World Values Survey 76
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, human rights organisations World Values Survey 66
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, consumer groups World Values Survey 22
Spent time socialising with friends in last month or last few weeks World Values Survey 64
Spent time socialising with other members of arts or cultural association in last month or last few weeks World Values Survey 58
Member of church or religious organisation International Social Survey 27
Member of neighbourhood group International Social Survey 27