The Science of Perks: City Living

If you are the type who thrives on the crowds, the energy, the noise, and even the occasional filthiness of an urban environment, you wouldn’t mind spending a fortune and sacrifice the space for the simple privilege of having that kind of life and activity. According to recent U.N. statistics, 54% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. There are actually plenty of benefits to urban living that will surprise you.


Benefit # 1: City Living is Safer

Many of us think that city living is much more dangerous. Actually, it’s the opposite. There’s a study that appeared in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, these injury-related mortality rates are much lower in urban areas than in suburban or rural countries. Odds are you’ll die from an injury 1.22 times higher in the most rural counties compared with the most urban. The farther from the city, the higher risk. Maybe one reason for this is that emergency care resources are widespread in more populated cities.


Benefit No. 2: City slickers are skinnier

Urbanites walk everywhere they go as much as they can. So even without spending hours at the gym, the city living will help keep you trim. There’s a study in the Journal of Rural Health that more than 8,800 Americans found that city folks are 6% less likely to be obese than their country counterparts.


Benefit No. 3: You’ll be surrounded by smart people

Urban centers tend to attract the most ambitious people because it needs the best and the brightest. So according to a study in the journal Intelligence, people with the highest IQs migrate to cities. People are aware of the desire for enhanced educational opportunities and bigger salaries.


Benefit No. 4: City living is healthier

Our health is not a byproduct of how we live. It’s also where we live. A truly healthy city makes it easy for residents to adopt a healthful lifestyle, whether it’s by providing quality health care, encouraging preventive medicine or reducing air pollution. Citizen engagement is also crucial when it comes to creating a healthy community.

“There is no doubt that people will generally find more advanced treatment options and also doctors skilled at modern practices in urban areas,” says Dr. Elizabeth Manejias of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “Because of the proximity to excellent resources and facilities, the best in their fields will generally gravitate toward urban centers because it’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of medicine.”


Benefit No. 5: Urbanites save a fortune in gas

According to American Public Transportation Association’s Transit Savings Report, you can save $781 per month by not driving your own car and just ride the public transportation. This is equivalent to a nearly $10,000 savings a year for urbanites who commutes.


Benefit No. 6: You’ll likely live longer

There’s a study that appeared in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine that urban dwellers tend to live two years longer than country folk. People who move from a city environment to the country or vice versa generally bring their health habits with them. Deaths from traffic accidents are more common in rural areas, not just because speed limits are higher, but also because the average emergency medical response to an accident is 18 minutes compared with 10 minutes in urban areas.

“People may also feel a greater sense of purpose living in a city filled with activities, which may contribute to their longevity as well,” suggests Debbi DiMaggio, author of “The Art of Real Estate.” Can’t argue with that; an active mind equals a vibrant life, and city dwellers have the world at their feet.


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