How many people in a town before it stops being a community?

I have just returned from a 5k walk around two of Bracknell’s housing estates, one brand new, the other one originating from the establishment of Bracknell as a new town in the 1960s. Although I passed several people on the way round and nodded and said Good Morning, I received only one acknowledgement. The rest either walked on by or studiously avoided eye contact. This is in marked contrast to Edgmond and Newport in Shropshire, where I spend my working week. There, not only do people nod and say hello, many even engage you in conversation. Bracknell has a population of just over 50 000, Newport has just over 11 000, Edgmond, just over 1 500. Edgmond is where the inhabitants engage you in conversation. Does anyone have some real data out there?

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