Urban vs Rural Living Comparison


It is beyond all doubt that each person has different character, various preferences, likes and dislikes. It is related to the choice of place for living. Some people prefer noisy and active life in urban area, other are fond of quiet life closer to the nature in the rural area. Obviously, it is impossible to determine what is the best place to live and each person has own preferences. However, living both in urban and in rural areas has advantages as well as disadvantages. Thus, the object of the paper is a comparative analysis of urban and rural living.

Urban Living Definition

In general, urban areas are large cities with many people living and a developed infrastructure. However, every country has a certain classification according to which the area can be named urban. For example, in the United States, the cities with the population of 50,000 or more are known as urbanized one. On the contrary, the areas with less than 50,000 citizens are called urban clusters.


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The urban area is characterized by the highly developed communication systems as Internet, telephone, television, and satellite communication. Different facilities for shopping and entertainment are usually easily found in such places. The large apartment complexes and skyscrapers are the characteristic of cities. The density of living is extremely high. As for the occupation, people in urban areas have various options of the job choice. They usually do not deal with the agricultural sector of the economy (Oak). Thus, the main characteristic of urban living is defined as living in a city with a population over 50, 000 people, a well-developed infrastructure and means of communication.

Rural Living Definition

The rural areas are mainly characterized by a small area, small population number and small density of population. They are usually situated outside large cities and towns. The houses are small and separate from one another. There is usually an additional land where a farm, a field, a pond or a garden might be situated. Due to the fact that rural area does not have much infrastructure and organizations, there are very few working places. People in the rural area are mostly engaged in agricultural sector. However, people often are running personal household or farmstead. It is important to notice that the technological development and transport network in the rural area is rather weak. However, rural territory is usually characterized as the one with good environmental conditions (Oak). Thus, rural living is mainly characterized by low density of population in areas near large cities.

Global Trends

Before providing a comparative analysis, some global statistics should be highlighted. According to the World Bank, during the last 55 years the number of urban population has grown considerably all over the world. There is a trend of migration to urban areas in almost all of the countries. In the global aspect, the percentage of world urban population has changed from 33% to almost 54% in comparison to the rural living people (World Bank). As for the different countries trends, the highest percentage of urban living is in North America which is about 82% (World Bank). The lowest one is in South Asia and is approximately 32% (World Bank). As for the economic criterion of comparison, people with middle and upper level of income have a trend of living in an urban area, while social groups with lower middle and low level of income are usually living in the rural areas (World Bank). Due to the investigation of Research Councils/Innovate UK, about 75% of the world population will be living in the urban areas by 2050 (Urban Living Partnership). Thus, the general trend of urban areas migration is spread all over the world, although the amount of people migrating depends on the geographic area, climate conditions, countries’ economic development and level of family incomes.

Comparative Analysis

One of the most important facts in the place of living for people is the comfort. The infrastructure plays a considerable role in peoples’ lives. They need an opportunity to buy food and consumer goods, use bank services, get their hair cut and nails done. There is no doubt that urban area has plenty of different services that make the lives of people easier and more comfortable. Big cities have the variety of small shops, grocery stores, department stores, supermarkets and huge malls. There are various services related to food, financial, medical, fashion, automobile and computer industries. The density of stores and organization in the urban areas is extremely high. In addition, along with the technological and economic development, this number is rapidly and constantly growing. On the contrary, the rural area does not have large density of the services and organizations. There even might be no infrastructure in the village or small town and people need to go out to the urban area. Thus, from the point of view of infrastructure the priority is given to the urban living.

Another important criterion of the comparative analysis is the transport. Urban areas have well developed networks of different means of transportation. There are plenty of buses, trolleybuses, metro and taxi that may take a person to any part of the city at a low fee. There is no or there is very little public transportation in the rural areas. People have to walk in order to move around the town. In case they need to get to another town or city they become rather dependent on the bus schedule. In terms of transportation comfort, the urban life has a great advantage; although, it is important to take into account the fact people in rural areas never get into traffic jams.

One more comparative criterion is the income and economic development level. There is no doubt that large cities are much more developed. Their budgets are rather large and the considerable state expenditure is paid to the city development an improvement. In addition, many manufactures, private enterprises, companies and organizations are situated in the urban area. They create many highly paid working places. In the same way, people are motivated to get an education and constantly improve their skills in order to be competitive in the labor market. Due to the fact that people in urban area earn large salaries, they can provide a better level of living for their families. It is a considerable benefit of urban living in its comparison with the rural living.

During last years the issue of good ecology has been paid special attention. This is caused by the fact that the global ecological situation has worsened during the last years. Taking into account the fact that there are no factories, manufacturing facilities and industrial zones, the environment is much less polluted in the rural area. The air is considered to be fresher and cleaner in small towns. Thus, if people are seeking for favorable environmental conditions of living, they should definitely give the priority to the rural living.

Another important issues is the surrounding the affects the mental health of people. There is a theory that large cities are causing people to become highly stressed and depressed. That is why, rural living has a considerable benefit in this competitive criteria. It has a slow pace of living and less stressful situation. In addition, a great advantage of rural life is being close to nature. Thus, if people are found of nature and slow pace of living, they should definitely choose rural living.

The last but not the least criterion is entertainment. After hard work people are looking for the way to relax and have a rest. Urban area has plenty of places for passive and active rest. There are many cafes, restaurants, spa and relax centers. On the contrary, urban life offers plenty of swimming pools, ice rinks, gyms and sport centers for an active change of the activity after the work. In addition, the urban area usually has different concerts, exhibitions, lections and courses for personal improvement. Thus, the variety of entertainment activities is much better in the urban area.


Taking everything into account, a conclusion can be made that urban and rural living are completely different types of peoples’ lives. Despite the main point of difference, namely the number of population, the researched types of life have many differences. However, both urban and rural lives have both advantages and disadvantages. The developed level of transportation and infrastructure, high salaries and a variety of jobs are the benefits of the urban way of life. On the contrary, living close to nature and better ecology are the advantages of rural living. Thus, in spite of listed comparative criteria, each person choses what he/she likes more and what surrounding he/she finds more comfortable and favorable. As for me, I am a strong supporter of urban living.

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