Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rural Americans most satisfied with where they live

Here's an excerpt from David Brooks' column today, which reports on a recent Pew Research Center study of where Americans would like to live and the sort of lifestyle they seek.
City dwellers are least happy with where they live, and cities are one of the least popular places to live. Only 52 percent of urbanites rate their communities “excellent” or “very good,” compared with 68 percent of suburbanites and 71 percent of the people who live in rural America.
I wonder whether this greater level of satisfaction says tells us more about rural places or more about the outlook of the people who (choose/happen to) live there?

Brooks offers this reflection on the Pew study findings:
They offer the dream, so characteristic on this continent, of having it all: the machine and the garden . . . wide-open space and the casual wardrobes.
Are we (excluding Michael Katz, of course--see this post) just having trouble letting go of Jefferson's agrarian vision? Or does something else draw us to rural life?

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I read this article and wondered the same - whether people report greater happiness because they live in rural areas, or whether rurality in fact leads to happiness. I had to check out the blog to see if it was here... This is quite the big question, isn't it? Are the urbanites just suffering from a grass-is-greener effect? I wonder if they'd choose a rural place, or look for another urban one.