Rural vs. Urban Living

Rural vs. Urban Living

To begin, I must admit that I am a 100% career-driven city girl. I am not feeling bad about it either. I’m not alone.  According to Buzzle, “Around 3.9 billion people (54% of the world’s population) live in urban areas,” and counting. On that note, we will begin with the perks of living in urban communities, move on to the rural way, and sum it up with statistics that show how the well-being of the residents measure up.

Several community classifications fall into the term urban. We will specifically be referring to large urban communities that are in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 1 million residents. These highly populated areas result in a large variety of residents. There are differences across the board, and in everything, from religion, race, and culture to sexual orientations, hobbies, lifestyles, and more.

 

 

With the differences in the urban population comes an assortment of education paths and career opportunities available to the residents. In turn, urban areas tend to provide a higher quality of education. Esteemed teachers, professors, and mentors flock towards urban areas. They use their access to advanced technology to take learning to a higher level. Moreover, living in a metropolitan area creates not only more career opportunities but a diverse selection of (non-agricultural) career options as well.

There is something for everyone in urban areas, and the differences are generally accepted. Since urban cities are crammed so close together, it doesn’t take much to get around either. It’s normal to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation. The destinations are all near, and they vary. There are all types of health clubs, local parks, malls, food carts, retail stores, restaurants, recreational centers, clubs, gyms, etc.

 

 

Let’s take it down a notch now and discuss the perks of being a resident in a rural community. The classification of rural communities that we will be referencing are towns populated by under 13,000 residents. Although there are minimal varieties when it comes to religion, race, or culture found in rural areas, you will see a substantial difference in the sense of the word, community. “The people here are more involved with each other. They are generous, and their hearts have room for emotions.” Buzzle

 

 

There are not many classifications in rural communities either. Residents in small towns are surrounded by acres of land and property prices are extremely low compared to living in the city. With not a significant difference in socioeconomic status, the population doesn’t care about what designer made the clothes they wear. Less effort is put into a look altogether, and more effort is put into relationships and giving back to the community.

 

 

It may take longer to get from point A to point B, but the residents don’t have to rely on public transportation. They just jump in their car and go as they wish. When they arrive at their destination, there are always available spots, and it’s always free to park. The view of the stars may just make up for the distance traveled as well. While in a city you see the lights coming from the concrete jungle, in rural areas, you see the lights from the actual stars in the sky; it’s a much more tranquil atmosphere.

 

 

With the general comparisons established, let’s get into the well-being difference between urban area residents and rural area residents. According to Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, “Residents of highly populated communities have better overall well-being than their counterparts in less populated areas…overall, large communities have a Well-Being Index score of 61.7 so far in 2017, compared with…61.0 for small towns and rural areas.”

 

Well-Being Index Score, by Community Population Size

Large communities     Small towns and
rural
Large communities
vs. small towns/rural
WBI 61.7 61.0 +0.7
Jan. 2-Sept. 30, 2017
GALLUP-SHARECARE WELL-BEING INDEX
(Large Cities Top Small Towns, Rural Areas in Well-Being)

The data explained by Dan Witters and Frank Newport is drawn from over 121,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states from Jan. 2-Sept. 30, 2017. The large sample size means that even small differences in Well-Being Index scores are statistically significant.

The study sited in Dan & Frank’s article, “Large Cities Top Small Towns, Rural Areas in Well-Being” was based on the following:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

 

Well-Being Index Score, by Community Population Size

Large communities Small towns
and rural
    Large communities
vs. small towns/rural
Purpose 59.4 59.8 -0.4
Social 60.0 59.4 +0.6
Financial 61.3 60.4 +0.9
Community 61.5 63.6 -2.1
Physical 61.3 58.7 +2.6
Jan. 2-Sept. 30, 2017
GALLUP-SHARECARE WELL-BEING INDEX
(Large Cities Top Small Towns, Rural Areas in Well-Being)

 

Even with my inner “city girl” self, cheering for the perks of urban living, I honestly was surprised that this study ranked the well-being in the urban areas better than that of the residents in the rural areas. According to Large Cities Top Small Towns, Rural Areas in Well-Being, the main reason the large urban communities have higher physical well-being is due to lower rates of obesity and chronic diseases. They also tend to have healthier behaviors, as well. Less smoking and more routine doctor visits. On the other hand, rural residents often feel safer and more secure. This goes with the fact that they give more to their community and connected on a much higher level with the neighborhood, and I can appreciate that.

 

Blue Pine Construction Corp
jennifer@bluepinecc.com