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

Have you heard of Aesop’s fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”? One mouse believes city life is the most luxurious life, while the other mouse feels comfortable with a simple country lifestyle.

You may envy the decisiveness of each mouse. Which is better-city, or country? You would like to move your family to a new area, but you’re not sure whether to move to a smaller town or a bigger city.
We’ll go over some of the most important factors for you to consider as you make your decision.

Cost of Living

If saving money on your housing costs is a big priority, you’re likely to find much lower prices in a smaller community. Big cities have the highest cost of living; in fact, in April 2014, the average monthly cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan was $4,042. Compare that to an apartment in upper-state New York, where housing costs are 30% than they are in the city.

However, consider how much money you’ll make in your new place. You might nail a high-paying job in a big city at a salary you wouldn’t find in a smaller town.

Job Market

There are more total jobs in a big city, so you’re likely to find more opportunities that fit your training and interests. A city is a better choice if you hope to work for a high-paying, top-level corporation.

However, in a big city, you’ll face more competition, so it might take a while to find your dream job. Depending on your line of work, you might find the perfect small-town job with less competition.

Making Friends

Does your family prefer a close-knit, friendly atmosphere? Many people enjoy smaller communities where they can socialize with friendly people who like to reach out.

In a big city, you’ll still make friends at work and other places you frequent, but you might feel lonely and outnumbered.

Medical Care

You’ll likely find basic medical services in a small town. But keep in mind that you might have to drive for hours to the nearest specialist. In a city, you’ll have access to most types of medical care in your immediate vicinity.

The same goes for other services like high-end clothing stores and restaurants. Can you live without certain services? Consider this before you move to a small town.

Nature

In general, you’ll feel closer to nature in a small town. For one thing, you can enjoy the stars at night and feel safer outdoors than you might in a city.

But don’t rule out a large city entirely. Large cities often have parks and recreational areas where you can enjoy the outdoors.

Entertainment

Thousands of people flock to large cities for entertainment options. In the largest cities, you’ll find sporting events, theaters, historical sites, and plenty of other things to do and see.

That’s not to say that there’s nothing to do in a small town, though. Many small towns still have movie theaters, museums, and other attractions.

Before you choose between the two, keep your family’s needs in mind. As you search for places to live, think about the kinds of entertainment you enjoy and whether you’ll find them in your new place.

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 it is in a large city. This may because of limited access to immediate medical care.

On the other hand, crime rates tend to be lower in smaller communities, and many people report that they just feel safer in the country than they do in a city.

Whether you live in a big city or a small town, you can keep your family safe. Look for housing in a low-crime area.

Weigh all these factors in consideration as you decide where to move. You’ll find pros and cons in both big cities and small towns, so choose what’s best for your family.

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