The Importance of Work Friends

December 16, 2021

Americans who never attended college are experiencing a rapid social decline—they have fewer close friends and considerably less social support. Part of the reason may have to do with the fact that Americans without a college education have fewer workplace friends. Sixty-two percent of college graduates have a close friend they met through work, compared to 47 percent of those without a college education. But why do Americans without a college degree have fewer friends? Lower labor force participation and greater economic instability may be to blame. For the growing number of Americans who are unmarried and unattached to religion, the workplace has become an incredibly important source of social connection and belonging.

Survey Reports

bridge between college graduates and those without a degree

Daniel A. Cox
December 13, 2021

The college connection: The education divide in American social and community life

The 2021 American Community Life Survey illuminates the growing social divide between Americans with college educations and those without.

An illustration of the main street of a small town. There is a market, library, cafe, gym, and restaurant. People are walking on the sidewalk, are inside the buildings, and there is a car going down the street.

Daniel A. Cox, Ryan Streeter, Samuel J. Abrams, Beatrice Lee, Dana Popky
October 20, 2021

Public places and commercial spaces: How neighborhood amenities foster trust and connection in American communities

The 2021 American Community Life Survey illuminates the state of communities in America and documents some of the hidden benefits neighborhoods offer to residents.

Daniel A. Cox, Nat Malkus
September 22, 2021

Controversy and Consensus: Perspectives on Race, Religion, and COVID-19 in Public Schools

The August 2021 American Perspectives Survey reveals surprising consensus and controversy on American attitudes towards COVID-19, race, and religion in public schools.

A help wanted sign is posted at a taco stand in Solana Beach, California, U.S., July 17, 2017.

Brent Orrell, Daniel A. Cox
July 15, 2021

The great American jobs reshuffle

The June 2021 American Perspectives Survey (APS) finds that people’s work arrangements and preferences, unemployment experiences, and career aspirations are changing as workers navigate the new post-pandemic labor market.

Sign up today for AMERICAN STORYLINES: A newsletter by Daniel A. Cox