Who Really Bowls Alone? Cities, Suburbs, and Social Time in the United States

Eric A. Morris, Deirdre Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


One potential consequence of suburbanization is weaker social connectedness. Based on data from the 2003 to 2013 American Time Use Surveys, this research uses difference of means t-tests, propensity score matching, and Tobit regression to assess whether suburban living is associated with less socializing than city living in mid-to-large American metropolitan areas. After controlling for personal characteristics, we find no meaningful difference in suburbanites’ and city dwellers’ time spent socializing across a wide range of social activities. Further, suburbanites and city dwellers spend a very similar amount of time traveling, and more time spent traveling is associated with more socializing, not less.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-222
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • social capital
  • social time
  • sprawl
  • suburbs
  • time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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