City Living vs Suburbs

City vs. Suburbs: What's Best for the Kids? According to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 and 2010, there has been a shift in population. While the population of urban areas grew by 12.1%, the country’s population overall grew by only 9.7% during those same years, revealing a trend toward urban living.

With moving season in full swing, Rent.com surveyed parents regarding their attitudes about raising kids in the city versus the suburbs to gauge their primary concerns and preferences. According to the survey, city life has its pluses and minuses when deciding where to settle.

For parents raising kids in the city, the question commonly arises... should we stay in the city, or should we go? 42% of survey respondents cited they have always lived in the city and are raising their kids there too, and 41.5% of respondents are equally dedicated to their suburban ties, choosing to remain in the suburbs to raise their families. Though, for those that did make a move when they had children, suburbia takes a marginal victory, as 10% of respondents cited a move from the city to the suburbs to raise their kids, while only 6.5% cited a move from the suburbs to the city to raise their kids.

When it comes to making the move to a big city, Rent.com respondents agree that safety comes first with 82% of parents saying that a safe neighborhood is the most important determining factor when selecting an apartment or home in the city. In fact, over half, 56%, of survey respondents revealed that safety is their biggest concern when considering raising kids in the city. 46% of respondents agree that living in a suburb or smaller town when raising kids offers the advantage of a safer neighborhood when compared to raising them in the city.

Survey respondents did acknowledge there are some real advantages to raising kids in an urban environment. In fact, almost 40% of respondents believe that the access to diverse cultures people, food, art and more is the biggest advantage to living in a city compared with the suburbs, while 16% said that opportunities for a better education made city living more appealing. Additionally, another 12% of survey respondents felt that the diversity of a city population is more conducive to raising kids since there is a greater chance to find like-minded friends and a place to fit in. On the contrary, a little under one-third of respondents did answer that the big city life does not offer any advantages over suburban living.

One commonly perceived barrier that stands in the way of pursuing a city-centered life is cost of living; however, only about one in four respondents mentioned cost would be an issue when considering an urban move with the kids. Additionally, respondents weren’t too worried about the size of apartments and homes in the city, with only 9% of parents citing their biggest concern for city living being that they would not have enough space for their family.