The Wheaton Blog

Small Town vs Big City: Which is Right for Your Family?

December 16, 2015 | Moving Guides & Tips

From the cost of living to job opportunities to local entertainment, there are plenty of things to consider when you’re thinking about moving. Whether it’s just you or you’re moving with your whole family, picking a destination can be tricky.

Your partner may have opinions as to why small towns are better… and you may think big cities are the way to go. To help you make a decision about where to move, the experts at Wheaton have put together a list of things to consider when having the small town vs big city debate.

The Great Debate: Small Town vs Big City

Town vs city, big city vs small city, small town vs big city… so many questions! So, which is right for you? Here are a few of the biggest factors to consider when making a decision about your big move:

1. Cost of Living

The cost of living in smaller communities is usually much lower than in big cities. Big cities have the highest cost of living—in fact, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is more than $4,000 a month, but the average cost of an apartment in upper-state New York is around $1,500 a month.

Woman on computer and calculator

On the other hand, you also have to consider how much money you’ll make. You might nail a high-paying job in a big city that you wouldn’t find in a smaller town. This leads us to our next factor to consider:

2. Job Market

Overall, there are more jobs in a big city, which means you’re probably more likely to find opportunities that fit your skills and interests. So, even if you’re paying more in rent, it might be worth it based on the job you land.

A big city is a better choice if you hope to work for a high-paying, top-level corporation.

Newspaper with job listings

However, you also face more competition in a big city vs a small city or town. This means it may take longer to find your dream job. Depending on your line of work, you might find the perfect, small-town job easier and more quickly.

A small town is a better choice if you want to find a job with less competition.

3. Making Friends and Finding Community

Does your family prefer a close-knit and friendly atmosphere? Then a small town is probably a better fit! Of course, you’ll still make friends and build a community in a big city, but it may be trickier and less intimate than a community in a small town.

Friends spending time together sitting in a circle

However, if you prefer to be part of a diverse crowd around strangers and you don’t mind making more of an effort to make friends, then a big city might be a good fit.

4. Medical Care

Most likely, you’ll find basic medical services in a small town, but keep in mind that you might have a long drive to the nearest specialist.

Man getting blood pressure taken by nurse

In a big city, however, you’ll have access to most types of medical care in your immediate vicinity. So, if you or someone in your family has specific or unique medical needs, it may be best and safest to live in a big city. 

5. Nature

Although this isn’t always the case, in general, you’ll feel closer to nature in a small town. For example, you can enjoy the stars at night and feel safer outdoors than you might in a big city.

Two people walking on dirt trail

However, don’t rule out a large city entirely! Big cities often have parks and recreational areas where you can enjoy the outdoors. Plus, if you live in a city like Portland, Oregon or Denver, Colorado, you’re only a short drive away from the mountains.

6. Entertainment

People flock to big cities purely for the entertainment they offer. In the large cities, you’ll find sporting events, theaters, historical sites and plenty of other things to do and see. But that’s not to say there’s nothing to do in a small town, though. Many small towns have theaters, museums, farmers markets, fairs and other attractions.

Father and daughter at zoo

Before you choose between a small town and a big city, keep your family’s needs and interests in mind. Think about the kinds of entertainment you all enjoy and whether you’ll be able to find them in your new home.

7. Safety

You might think small towns are safer because they’re quieter and less crowded. However, a study by the University of Pennsylvania found that the risk of injury-related death is 20% higher in a small town than in a large city.This may be because of the limited access to immediate medical care. 

Security camera in big city

On the other hand, crime rates tend to be lower in smaller communities. The more people there are living in one area, the more likely there is to be crime. However, whether you decide to live in a big city or small town, you can keep your family safe—try to find housing in low-crime areas, regardless of what decision you make.

Did You Decide Between Small Town vs Big City? We Can Get You There!

Consider all the factors above and weigh the pros and cons for both big cities and small towns. Once you’ve decided what’s best for you and your family and you’re ready to make the big move, get in touch with Wheaton. We can make your transition quick, easy and stress-free, whether you’re headed to bustling Manhattan or the countryside in Nebraska!

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