City life vs country life: an unbiased analysis

     

I reviewed 12 key differences between city life vs country life. See the pros and cons after living both to help you decide what’s best for you.

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DC thành phố life vs country life: A shot of Washington DC"s monument across the reflecting pool.

Jenni & I currently live the đô thị life. But, we both spent some of our younger years living the country life. With our experiences living in both types of places and the backdrop of making smart money decisions khổng lồ reach financial independence, we’re going to lớn offer our personal take of đô thị life vs country life.

I dove deep into the living experience between both to uncover the benefits of each.

So make sure khổng lồ read this comparison until the end. You’ll be armed with the knowledge lớn decide whether country life or thành phố life is best for you.

These are the 12 categories I evaluated to determine đô thị life vs country life pros & cons:


Contents hide
From Country Life to city Life đô thị Life vs Country Life (Pros and Cons)

City vs Country


Walkability

And what that means in the context of services vs nature


Business

Competition và the balance of change vs reliability


Education

Access lớn schools, certifications, and learning opportunities


Population

Density & its psychological effects


Career

Advancement opportunities và specialization


Responsibility

What you have to worry about


Community

The communal experience


Environment

The effects on the environment; air quality, sound pollution, etc.


Services

Municipal services


Individuality

Strength of your individual voice


Transportation

Transit systems & access lớn transportation networks


Cost of Living

Average costs associated with living in the place


From Country Life to đô thị Life

Before I get to lớn the point-by-point comparison, I wanted to quickly give you a little background on our jump from country life to city life.

I also want to define what we mean by “city life” by comparing urban vs city.

Today’s realities have caused people lớn reconsider city living.

Cities experiencing large scale protests in the US are feeding into it.

Prepping và bunker interest seem khổng lồ be hitting highs. YouTube has been feeding me unsolicited videos on modern-day in-ground bunkers.

A recent post from Mrs. Frugalwoods elicited a little envy from me, thinking about the advantages of rural life.

She did a great job of being balanced & honest about the different positive experiences they’ve had as a family in a rural area as well as the pitfalls.

While Jenni grew up in Virginia, I’ve lived across the country.

My entire childhood was in traditional middle-class American suburbia; total ticky-tacky.

I didn’t have much of đô thị life vs country life experiences as a kid khổng lồ draw comparisons. That changed pretty quickly when I wound up in the hills of Appalachia for undergrad.

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Country life vs thành phố life: Looking out across the hills of Appalachia. Country life gives you space to enjoy in nature!

The college had a student population smaller than the high school Jenni và I attended. I lived on campus for the first few years.

By the kết thúc of my sophomore year, I moved off campus into a small house a few miles away with three other friends.

That’s right, that made four of us, who divided a $600/month rent.

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Add in the occasional lãng mạn interest and a Saturday night would routinely have eight of us sleeping there. Cramped quarters for sure! There were countless nights of bonfires, outdoor parties, and work on cars in the grassy “driveway”.

I’ll never forget the first time my parents visited that place. Even as a pair of old hippies—I think they were mortified by the living conditions.

But, I had a blast!

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The old house I lived in during undergrad with three other guys out in Appalachia. Note: I had to vày a little editing khổng lồ cut people out of the photo.

We had space lớn have a good time, & generally no one to bother you. It was a stark contrast to campus living or the suburbia I grew up in.

Jenni và I made the jump to our current city in 2013.

What would seven years of experience in urban Virginia offer as a counterpoint khổng lồ the Frugalwoods’ rural Vermont love?

Defining thành phố Life: Urban vs City

There’s a big difference between a dense thành phố center with skyscrapers where everyone takes public transit và the urban life we lead. We don’t live in Tokyo, London, or NYC. Our city has an improving bus system, but aside from Amtrak, there’s no local train system.

We own an attached townhouse-style home. We have a little porch and back patio. There’s parking for Jenni and a garage for my toy. But, we don’t have a yard lớn speak of.

Within our neighborhood, yards are small enough that many people just turn them into rock gardens or brick them over for a larger patio. There’s a five-story apartment building every block or two.

It’s not “downtown”.

I’m not suggesting that a high-density downtown experience is better or worse. It’s different.

There are key differences between downtown & urban đô thị life as I see it:

While the roads have a low speed limit here, traffic isn’t much of an issueThere’s plenty of trees và greenery in the right-of-way or sidewalk medians—it’s very greenParking can be a pain to find, but it’s typically free, & usually just on the street shoulderTypical middle-class career workers can afford a multi-bedroom row house, townhouse, or condoWhile lawns are very small, they’re big enough for many people khổng lồ have lovely front and/or rear gardens—it’s not a concrete jungleThe air remains reasonably clean & breathableWhile you routinely bump into people (edit: in the days of a pandemic, avoid people by walking in the right-of-way), sidewalks aren’t so packed that you’d have any trouble going for a jogNoise isn’t so bad that you have trouble sleeping due khổng lồ traffic, neighbors, or industry

Having access lớn your heart’s desire within a short distance is easily one of the greatest benefits of thành phố life vs country life.

Whether you’re looking at the true urban chip core of a city or the outskirts of that urban core like where we are, you won’t have any trouble finding all the things you could possibly need.

Of course one of the biggest components of city life vs country life comparison is cost. While we can’t get quite the value for our money in terms of square footage và land as a suburban or rural person could, we think we’ve managed to keep our housing costs relatively low.

We bought our current place which has 1,250 square feet plus a 300 square foot finished attic for about $230,000 in 2013. That’s not something we could find in two miles down the road in the heart of the city.

We’ll talk more about cost of living between đô thị life & country life in point twelve below.

City Life vs Country Life (Pros and Cons)

Alright, let’s get lớn the point-by-point comparison of city life vs country life!

I’m going to break this down into a dozen categories và comparison points between both.

WalkabilityBusinessEducationPopulationCareerResponsibilityCommunityEnvironmentServicesIndividualityTransportationCost of Living

1) Walkability

With đô thị life, all your needs can be just a short walk away.

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We have access to an incredible diversity of entertainment, culture, & shopping within a half-mile walk of our place. A high walkability score (91 at the time of writing!) was a key component of our decision making to live where we are.