15 ways that life in a small town differs from life in a city15 ways that life in a small town differs from life in a city

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are ten differences between life in small towns as compared to cities:

1. People in small towns tend to know their townsfolk more than people in large cities know city folk.

2. Typically there are fewer opportunities to shop at major national retailers in a small town than in a city.

3. Typically, but not always, there is more pollution in cities than in small towns - depending on the concentration of industry.

4. There is more green space spread out over wider areas in small towns and their environs than in cities.

5. Real estate and taxes are often more expensive in cities compared to small towns.

6. There is less congestive and polluting traffic in small towns compared to cities.

7. There is less infrastructure for public transit in small towns compared to cities... light rail, subways, buses.

8. Access to innovative health care and clinical trials is limited in small towns compared to major cities.

9.  Some small towns do not have the infrastructure in place for widespread Internet use for their residents.

10. Most small towns are quieter and conducive to respite and relaxation at most times of the day - compared to noisy cities, especially at rush hour.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1. People from smaller towns discuss distances between hospitals and town, and other towns in terms of miles, not time.

2. People from smaller towns say "Hello," or look people in the face instead of avoid eye contact

3. People from towns make small talk with sales clerk or hotel/motel clerks.

4. People from towns patronize certain businesses in their town because they are friends with the owners. People in large cities rarely know or are related to business owners near them.

5. People from small towns often talk to their neighbors more than city people do.

6. People from small towns do not honk their horns as much as those in the city.

7. People from small towns often have many relatives nearby.

8. Businesses in small towns often make concessions for people such as giving credit at the little gas station store, allowing someone to pay them the next day, etc.

9. Schools in small towns are smaller and teachers usually know people's siblings, who have passed through the same school. These schools, also, do not have students that are similar.

10. People from small towns usually hold doors of stores for other people. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One good thing about living in a small town is that we have much less traffic than big cities.  Also, you are never very far from anything.  We never have to drive more than 10 minutes to get anywhere.  Of course, on the other hand, there is much less to do here and we do not have all the advantages of a city.  We have no real home electronics store or even any really nice clothes stores so we have to drive at least an hour to get to any place where we can shop for such things.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I live in a small Florida town with no traffic lights, three convenience stores, two gas stations and only five restaurants/eateries. My wife misses shopping malls and chain stores and restaurants, but I love the light traffic and slow pace. A larger town with most of these necessities is just a few miles away, and Daytona Beach and Orlando are less than an hour away. It's great to live in a quiet, natural setting while still being close to the trappings of the big city.

msmcgarron eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have lived in large cities and small villages and I have to say one of the most annoying things about living in a city is that it never, ever gets totally dark because of light pollution. I love being able to switch off the light at night and not be able to see anything. If you go outside at night where I live, you'll have difficulty seeing your hand in front of your face.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have lived in both large cities and small towns. Currently, my family and I live in a small town. While we do not have the luxuries of a large town, we do have what we need. I can say that I do not miss the crime and congestion of the "big city." I would say that small town living beats out the large city based upon friendliness, comfort, security, and peace.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I grew up in a small town.  There was only one high school for the longest time.  Having one high school pretty much ensures that everybody in town knows everyone.  This can be good and bad, but you definitely do not get it with a city.  I teach in a private school, and kids come from all kinds of different neighborhoods around the urban area.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There tend to be more opportunities to take in culture (fine art, theater, music, etc.) in cities. This can be important for individuals who make art or want to make a living making art.

The air quality of small towns tends to be better than that of cities, in my experience. Fresh air is a nice benefit of small town living. 


loveshisler | Student

Sometimes small-town life can get you down. Everyone's going to West Elm, or Anthropologie, or heck — even Target, and you can only dream about being close enough to one of those stores to be able to casually drop by. Well, I'm here to remind you of ten reasons why living in a small town can really rock.