State Watch

Luster of city living drops since 2018: Gallup


A Gallup poll conducted last month and released on Tuesday found that nearly half of Americans, 46 percent, say they would rather live in a town or rural area as opposed to a city or suburb, up from 39 percent in 2018.

The percentage of people who said they would live in the suburbs of a city dropped to 25 percent in 2020, down from 31 percent two years earlier, while the percentage of those who said they would live within a city dropped from 29 percent to 27.

Gallup’s report noted that while less than half of those who live in a city are happy where they are, three out of four rural residents said they were content.

Gallup notes that it has only asked this question two other times, in 2018 and in 2001, with the most recent results appearing to be similar to the response found in 2001.

“That reading, like today’s but unlike the 2018 one, was taken during a time of great national upheaval — shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the public was still on edge about the potential for more terrorism occurring in densely populated areas,” said the report.

Gallup hypothesized that the coronavirus pandemic had likely had an impact on Americans’ lifestyle preferences.

The report also noted that three groups saw a significant increase in their preference for rural areas: non-white Americans, Republicans and those who live in the South. The increased desire to move away from cities was seen less in those who live in the East and are middle-aged.

The Gallup poll was conducted from Dec. 1 to 17 and included 1,018 U.S. adults in all 50 states. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 points.

Tags cities Gallup Public opinion Rural America suburbs
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