Difference Between Neighborhood and Community

Neighborhood vs Community

Neighborhood and community are words that are used almost interchangeably by people to refer to both geographical areas in proximity and people of a certain ethnicity or race. People talk about their neighborhoods and communities in the same breath though there is a subtle difference between the two concepts. This article takes a closer look at neighborhood and community to highlight their differences.


Neighborhood is a concept that arises out of the word neighbor that refers to people living near or adjacent to one another. In a city, neighborhood is always the area that surrounds this city or lies in the close vicinity. However, the word has also come to mean the people living near one another in a particular area or district. If you say the gunshot surprised the entire neighborhood, it means you are referring to the people and not the geographic area. In general though, neighborhood always means a surrounding area or region.


Community is a word that refers to groups of people living in a particular area or district. It also means all people that live in a particular area. It is also a word that is used to refer to ethnic groups living inside a particular area such as the black community, Hispanic community, and so on. The word is also used to refer to specific groups within a community such as the business community, community of lawyers, and so on. Then there is the use of community to describe community colleges, community hospitals, community service, and so on.

What is the difference between Neighborhood and Community?

• Neighborhood mostly refers to the adjoining area or the surrounding area of a city.

• Community is used more in the sense of groups of people living in a particular area or district such as the black community or the Asian community.

• There is no reference to geographical boundaries while talking about community, whereas there is definite geographical entity when referring to a neighborhood.

• A neighborhood is used more in a physical sense, whereas there are social implications of the concept of community.