Overall, Americans in the Suburbs Are Still the Happiest
Source: The Atlantic
In the Atlantic’s first State of the City Poll, more than 1,600 U.S. adults were surveyed on a wide-ranging set of topics related to quality of life, and it was found that all things considered, Americans who live in suburban areas are the most satisfied with the places where they live.
Making sense of the story:
- Among suburbanites, 84 percent of those surveyed rated the communities where they live as overall excellent or good, compared to 75 percent of urban dwellers and 78 percent of rural residents.
-Meanwhile, 25 percent of urban residents rated their communities as only fair or poor overall, compared to 15 percent of suburban residents and 21 percent of rural residents.
- Clearly, U.S. cities have plenty of work yet to do to improve perceptions of overall quality of life among their residents and within their communities.
- Some of the biggest differences in community satisfaction revealed by the survey fell along racial, economic, and generational lines. There were also stark divides between college graduates and non-graduates, as well as those who own their own homes versus those who rent.
- Outside of the cities, the difference between whites and minorities was less pronounced. Eighty three percent of non-urban whites (those in the suburbs and rural areas combined) rated their communities as excellent or good, while 78 percent of non-urban minorities answered similarly.
- Overall, Americans who make $50,000 or more each year were more likely (86 percent) to rate their communities as excellent or good than those who make less than $50,000 (73 percent).
- Owning a home was also a major predictor of whether someone gave their community high marks, both inside cities and out. Renters in urban areas were particularly likely to answer only fair or poor.