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City vs. Country

Deciding between rural and urban isn't easy

March 14, 2013
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Do the lights and sounds of a bustling metropolis invigorate your senses? Or, do you long for the peace and tranquility of a quiet, rural setting? There are advantages and disadvantages when deciding between the allure of the city and the charm of country living.

Lifestyle Choices

Many considerations can make life in a big city or suburb appealing. Business is abundant, offering quick access to products, services and employment. Competitive markets provide consumers with an assortment of consumer goods from high-end department stores and retail chains, wholesale providers and smaller specialty shops.

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Public transportation options make residents less dependent on their own vehicles, often times foregoing the expense altogether. Medical care facilities abound, providing access to large hospitals, emergency clinics and specialized doctors.

Lastly, city dwellers can enjoy many recreational opportunities such as clubs, restaurants, gyms and organized sports groups.

That's not to say that residents in country settings are missing out. Rural communities typically have many of the same goods and services as urban areas, but they may not be as plentiful or as close to home.

Consumers can often rely on nearby cities for products not found in their community. They place less importance on having a variety of choices - instead, valuing the idea of doing business with their friends and neighbors. A strong sense of community abounds, making personal interactions more meaningful.

Life may move at a slower pace, but country folks have fun in their own way, enjoying outdoor activities such as camping, hunting and fishing, as well as the occasional trip into "the big city."

Housing and Cost of Living

Urban home owning opportunities are typically found in planned housing developments and condominiums.

Although many homes are similar in build and appearance, homeowners often customize their living space with luxury options. Housing prices and tax obligations may be higher in the city, but neighborhood homeowner associations and city regulations tend to protect and increase home values.

Furthermore, being closer to work and retailers may mean that urban residents have fewer commuting expenses.

Rural buyers generally have more control of their property due to less regulation, and fewer taxes may allow builders to put more money into their home. Lower population densities also offer the opportunity to buy larger tracts of land at more affordable prices. Oftentimes, rural homeowners can reduce the tax burden of large properties by utilizing agricultural tax exemptions.


Employment and education opportunities can vary between urban and rural communities.

While city dwellers have the opportunity to work in a variety of nearby industries, many country residents work in specialized fields with salaries that offset the cost of a longer commute.

Students in urban environments may have exposure to more educational opportunities, but rural school districts often have lower student-to-teacher ratios which may result in more focus on individual student success. It all depends on which city and which country area you're considering.

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