The city vs. the country. It’s a debate that’s raged for centuries. This is particularly true in the U.S., where the size of the country ensures there are often some very distinct differences between city living and rural living.
This blog post isn’t taking a side. Neither lifestyle is “better” than the other. Everyone has their own tastes, and what’s right for one may not be ideal for another.
That said, there are some popular myths about city life that many fall prey to. If you think you know how city-dwellers live, consider these noteworthy examples.
Myth: Cities Are More Dangerous than the Country
This is a common myth that many accept at face value. This may be partially due to the way cities are depicted in pop culture. Most of the time, if a movie or TV show is about violent crime, it will take place in a major metropolitan area. Rural areas, on the other hand, are often depicted as quaint and inherently safe.
However, the reality is quite the opposite. Studies indicate that people who live in rural areas are generally more likely (per capita) to be the victims of violent crimes or accidents.
As of now, it’s not clear why this is. Numerous factors probably contribute. For instance, studies show that people in rural areas are more likely to die or be seriously injured in auto accidents than people who live in cities. This is perhaps because the country allows for more reckless driving. In a densely-packed city, traffic conditions simply don’t allow people to reach the kinds of speeds that would lead to major accidents.
Myth: City-Dwellers Are Less Healthy Than Country People
Let’s compare the country and the city for a moment. One is defined by fresh, open air. The other is defined by pollution and noise. It makes sense that people who live in the country would be in better health than those who live in the city, right?
That’s a fair assumption. However, it doesn’t correspond with reality. Again, research indicates that people who live in the city are less likely than their rural counterparts to experience such health issues as obesity.
This makes sense. In a city, people are less dependent on cars. They often walk to their destinations throughout an average day. Thus, they get more exercise.
Myth: City-Dwellers Have a Worse Carbon Footprint
Again, as appealing as cities can be, no one can claim that major metropolises look clean and natural. The very sight of tall grey skyscrapers jutting out of the ground doesn’t match up with the inner environmentalist in many.
Despite this, average people who live in the city have a smaller carbon footprint than rural people. This is also likely due to transportation options. People who walk, take public transportation, and live in smaller spaces will inevitably generate less pollution than people who live in big spaces and rely on cars.
Just remember, this post is not a criticism of country living. The benefits of a rural lifestyle are obvious. It’s simply important to remember that assumptions about city life aren’t always as accurate as you might think.