Big cities or small towns? The type of lifestyle leads to the best well-being...
Bottom Line: Have you ever dreamed of packing up one day, heading into the countryside or small mountain town and living the simple life? There's certainly something tempting about it but it might not be as good for your well-being as it might seem.
As odd as it might seem overall personal well-being has actually been best in the largest cities in 2017. According to Gallup's latest research on a scale up to 100 the overall score of the largest cities checked in with a 61.7 score for the year thus far. The best of any size. Mid-sized cities are averaging a 61.4 and the smallest towns a 61. So, it's worth noting that there's not a huge difference in overall quality of life regardless where you live but the differences are more pronounced when you look at overall categories. If a sense of community is important to you, without a doubt smaller towns win out. Ditto personal safety. Those in smaller towns about are 7% safer than large cities. Where you pay for it is with your health. In every measurable category one's health is generally significantly better in a larger city with an average difference of about 18% better health for those living the large city life.
Here's an interesting nugget. Perception vs. reality. While the evidence suggests that we're living life about 61% to the fullest, our own perceptions of it aren't as high. People regardless of where they live, have generally stated that their life is a bit better this year but none of us rate our lives as highly as the data suggests. Here's a breakdown...
- Large communities: 57.8%
- Medium large communities: 55.3%
- Medium small communities: 55.2%
- Small towns and rural: 52%
So as the data suggests, those in the largest communities are the most positive while those in small towns are the least but we're almost more pessimistic about ourselves than we should be theoretically. Perhaps this Thanksgiving we should truly take time to be thankful for the good things in our lives. There's legitimate room for improvement sure but there's plenty of room for appreciation of what we already have.