I want to know if we can use local community and neighborhood interchangeably? Do they have same meaning or local community includes much larger area than neighborhood?

  • Have you tried looking up these words in a good dictionary? community is more often used about the people in an area, whereas neighbourhood is more often used about the area. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/community
    – JavaLatte
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a formal definition of either neighborhood or local community, so it's impossible to say which one is larger.

To this US English speaker, the main differences are

  • neighborhood sounds informal and natural; local community sounds formal and slightly stilted.

  • neighborhood mostly refers to the geographical area, and by extension, the people in it; local community refers mostly to the people, and only by extension to the geographical area. For example, in the sentence "A water main broke, and the whole ______ was flooded", only neighborhood sounds natural.

  • Also, a community does not necessarily refer strictly to a geographical area. For example, everyone living in East Boston is part of the neighborhood, but only the Russians there are part of the Russian community. I might expect a local Russian-language newspaper to use the term local community to refer to local Russian speakers, not everyone in the neighborhood.

  • 1
    Commenting on my first point to add that the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would have sounded really weird if it went "...a couple of guys who were up to no good / Started making trouble in my local community."
    – stangdon
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:35
  • If somebody says " the local community in Austin", for instance, does he/she talk about Austinites in general then?
    – fate
    Apr 19, 2017 at 21:00
  • 1
    I would take "the local community in Austin" to mean Austinites in general if nothing else was specified.
    – stangdon
    Apr 19, 2017 at 21:05

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