Country or city life, which is best? Harry Hill might want to shout ‘fight’ at this point and wheel out a skyscraper and a tractor to do battle but, fun as that sounds, let’s help you settle this score by examining the strengths and weaknesses…
Transport: Public transport is better in cities and you’re more likely to live close enough to shops and services not to need the car as much as you would in the country. Many people fear they won’t be able to access services such as hospitals in rural areas without a car and the safety record of some rural roads is also a worry. However, traffic is less of an issue in the country and, for some, not being reliant on public transport isn’t so bad, especially when parking is easier and cheaper. Result – a City victory, but not quite as easily as you think.
Quality of life: A big attraction of country living is the peace and quiet. Away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle you’re probably going to find it easier to relax – especially if you have a nice garden to retreat to. Some may put the better phone signal and faster broadband associated with cities higher on their list of priorities. The tide is turning on that last point though with faster broadband on its way for most rural dwellers. Result – Country life edges it.
Economics: When it comes to employment you’re more likely to get the job you want in a city. According to the BBC, the median city income is about £2,000 a year higher, although it’s estimated that disposable income for someone in a rural area will be up to £200 a week more, meaning that slimmer pay packet can go further. Result – a score draw.
Crime: There’s no getting around it – you’re much less likely to suffer a burglary or violent crime in a rural area. The only potential flipside is that rural areas don’t have the same level of policing resources if and when crimes do occur. Result – a Country win.
Leisure and culture: Want the best choice of restaurants? Like to shop ‘til you drop? Enjoy a night at the theatre? Love live sport and the best gigs? If it’s a yes to any of those you’ll be better off in a city. It’s wrong to say there’s none of that in the countryside though and if the great outdoors and nature feature high on your wish list you’ll be satisfied with your lot away from the city. Result – City wins.
So there we go. Our five-match face-off was a 2-2 draw. The money is the decider. That factor was a score draw for us but your personal circumstances will tip it decisively one way. If you can only get the job of your dreams in the city – or can only afford a house in the country – then you have your winner.
The ideal may well be living in a village on the outskirts of a city to get the wage, career and entertainment it offers while enjoying the benefits of country life. Consider somewhere such as Nottingham or Leicester where there are relatively leafy surrounds you can commute in from. You’ll need to find out more about the jobs on offer and how easy it is to commute but you may get the best of both worlds. Sitting on the fence in this debate is fine – especially if it’s the fence of a fabulous five-bed home of your dreams…