What are the advantages of rural living and what are its disadvantages? Is urban living better and why? This OpinionFront article gives you a comparative study of urban vs. rural living.
Around 3.9 billion people (54% of the world’s population) live in urban areas.
People inhabit different parts of the world and have different ways of living. The geographical location, climatic conditions, as also education and economy in an area have a direct impact on the lifestyle of individuals living there. The available resources and the plant and animal life of that area influence the occupations of the inhabitants, and in turn their living conditions.
Based on the accessibility of an area determined by geographical factors, educational and technological development may or may not reach the people living there. This affects their lifestyle. The growth opportunities in certain areas or the lack thereof, determine the dwellers’ standard of living. Based on this or for administrative reasons, geographical areas around the world have been classified into urban and rural. What is the difference between rural and urban ways of living and what are their pros and cons? This OpinionFront article on rural vs. urban living gives you the answers.
What is Urban Living?
Major cities and the areas around them can be classified as urban. The definition varies across nations, but generally an area with a population of more than a certain number is classified as urban. For example, in the United States, an area with a population of 50,000 or more is known as urbanized, while urban areas with a population less than 50,000 are called urban clusters. Urban areas are equipped with all the modern amenities like the Internet, telephone, television, and satellite communication. Facilities for shopping, entertainment and other forms of recreation are more concentrated in these areas. Large housing complexes and skyscrapers are found in most urban metropolitan cities. Elevators, escalators, leveled parking areas, and towering constructions add to their magnificence. People mostly engage in non-agricultural jobs, the career options are better and more in number. The living conditions are better. Urban living is economically more stable and luxurious. Due to people preferring this kind of living, urban areas are densely populated. Excessive industrialization has invited environmental problems. The rise in economic growth has led to self-sufficiency and people appear to be self-centered.
What is Rural Living?
An area outside cities and towns is referred to as rural. The definitions vary across nations. Rural areas are not as crowded as the urban ones. The population is quite less. Unlike those in urban cities, houses in rural areas are widely spaced with ample space for fields. There is room for pets and grazing animals, large pieces of agricultural land, and greenery. People in these areas live in the proximity of nature, which has a positive effect on their overall health. Pollution levels are low due to less vehicles and very less or no industries. Thus, the equilibrium in nature is better maintained. Rural living is relatively slow-paced and much more peaceful than urban life. The modern-day amenities are not a part of rural living and the life here is away from luxury. The dwellers are not as technologically advanced as those in the urban areas. The socioeconomic conditions in rural areas are poor and the education and medical care facilities are less. Rural living may not be as lavish and independent as urban living, but the people here are more involved with each other. They are generous and their hearts have room for emotions. However, attracted to urban development and in the pursuit of higher living standards, many are shifting from rural living to urban life.
Urban Living Vs. Rural Living
◼ The population in urban areas is high, and they are generally thickly populated.
◼ The life in urban areas is always buzzing with people and activity.
◼ People are busy in their own lives and appear to be relatively indifferent towards one another.
◼ Diverse groups inhabit urban areas, which means people are more ready to accept differences in cultures, religions, sexual orientations, etc.
◼ People living in the urban areas have a modern lifestyle.
◼ Cities are crowded, houses are closely spaced, thus leaving less scope for privacy.
◼ Life in the urban areas is not very peaceful.
◼ Life is fast, there is greater competition. Life is fraught with stress and lifestyle diseases.
◼ There is easy availability of grocery, medical shops, and other essentials.
◼ The access to health care facilities is quick and easy.
◼ In urban areas, poverty rates are low and the standard of living is high.
◼ Due to the availability of good teaching staff, course material, technology, and other teaching aids, urban areas can provide education of higher quality.
◼ Urban areas have gyms, health clubs, parks, theaters, recreational centers, and other such facilities. Shopping and food malls and restaurants are commonplace.
◼ Urban living offers many job opportunities and several career options.
◼ Urban areas have better infrastructure and transport facilities.
◼ Due to the developments and high population, living costs in the urban areas are higher.
◼ Shops, schools, offices, hospitals, etc. are spread across the city. Hence the daily traveling for these reasons is comparatively less.
◼ Government funds and any form of help is quick to reach the urban areas.
◼ Due to greater opportunities for growth and the concentration of population, urban areas are preferred for developmental programs. Businesses are interested in investing in these areas.
◼ Agricultural land is lost in the construction of roads and buildings.
◼ To accommodate the rising population, trees are cut. Moreover, pollution levels in the urban areas are high. This leads to a rise in temperature. And there is environmental degradation.
◼ Due to advanced medical facilities, education, and higher levels of general awareness, the mortality rates in urban areas are low.
◼ People in urban areas are aware of the concepts of birth control and family planning, and take measures for the same. The average ages of marriage and childbirth are high.
◼ The population in rural areas is less and they are generally sparsely populated.
◼ The life in rural areas is quieter than that in large cities.
◼ People appear to be more associated with each other.
◼ People are more bound to tradition and old ways of thinking. They don’t tend to accept cultural or other differences easily.
◼ The thinking and lifestyle of rural people seems backward to the urban dwellers.
◼ Living areas are spacious and houses are comfortably spaced. People can find privacy.
◼ Life in rural areas is peaceful.
◼ Due to the kind of lifestyle and the peaceful living conditions, stress levels and lifestyle disorders are not common in the rural areas.
◼ Grocery, medical shops, and other essentials are not easily available.
◼ Health care facilities are less accessible.
◼ In rural areas, the rates of poverty are high and the standard of living is low.
◼ Lacking good staff, funds, learning material, and educational tools, rural areas cannot provide the kind of education that urban areas can.
◼ Rural areas lack these facilities.
◼ In rural areas, the job opportunities are less and the career choices are not many.
◼ Rural areas are infrastructurally less developed and have less transport facilities.
◼ The cost of living in rural areas is low.
◼ When living in a rural area, people have to travel long distances for attending school, going to work, or something as simple as buying grocery. That’s because such facilities are located far away from the living areas.
◼ Government funds as well as relief or rehabilitation programs may take longer to reach the rural areas.
◼ Due to the lack of facilities and less population, rural areas attract very few.
◼ A lot of agricultural land is available.
◼ As agriculture is a major occupation of the people in rural areas, as deforestation is not rampant, and as pollution levels are low, these areas are cleaner and greener.
◼ Due to less education and awareness and due to the lack of medical facilities, mortality rates in rural areas are high.
◼ In rural areas, abortion clinics are almost none. Family planning measures haven’t reached them, and people here are less aware of the need for population control and its methods. Teenage pregnancies are common in traditional rural areas. Lacking the knowledge of family planning or birth control, people tend to have more children.
Rural living may lack luxury, but it is more fulfilling. The pollution and the deforestation has led to environmental imbalance and health problems, which shadow the future of urban living. The rise in prosperity has been eclipsed by a decline in peace. Having said that, though rural living scores higher in some aspects, truth is that the faster and smarter city life entices almost everyone.