Big Cities

Large cities (I mean those with populations exceeding half a million people) seem to be ideal from a commercial and industrial perspective with a large number of people in one area to supply a workforce and a large body of consumers. With the exception of businesses that require open space (ranching/farming for example) large cities would seem to be equal or superior to any other population arrangement.

When it comes to the question of what is best for individuals though, I don’t think that such close proximity to so many other people is desirable for some people (certainly not for me). I believe that there are great advantages such as access to cultural and entertainment options that are more available in large cities than they are in other settings but I can’t see those outweighing the noise and crowding of the city to make living there preferable to living close enough to access the amenities.

I admit to a lack of experience with large cities. I have visited Chicago, Orlando, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Denver, and Albuquerque (and Phoenix, but that was long enough ago that I don’t think it would have counted), but the largest city I have lived in is St. Louis which is not quite that large. Does anyone see any advantages or disadvantages of living in large cities that I may have missed?

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About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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4 Responses to Big Cities

  1. Jesse Harris says:

    Access to adequate telecommunications services is a big one. In rural areas, many don’t even have a single choice for high-speed Internet access and cell phone service is spotty at best. You also find a much wider selection of fresh produce and meats (among other products) in your grocery store in an urban area.

  2. David says:

    Those things are generally available in smaller cities as well, although that is definitely a drawback to rural living.

  3. Cameron says:

    Drawback to big city:

    Big schools
    Air pollution
    Traffic congestion

    Benefits of big city:

    Variety of entertainment – sports/concerts/theater etc
    Big schools – easier to find a niche, more and better electives, clubs, activities
    Higher paying jobs

    Drawback to rural/small city:

    Small schools – fewer electives, clubs and advanced classes
    Lower paying jobs
    Children generally have to move away to get a degree and a job.

    Benefit of small city/rural:

    Small schools – big fish in small pond ie. can be involved in everything if you want.
    Less or no crime/violence
    Open spaces
    More sense of community

  4. David says:


    That list seems to conform to my expectations of the differences. Thanks for putting is so succinctly.

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