While big cities are the way to go for many, smaller communities offer numerous advantages in their own right. According to Quint Studer, author of “Building a Vibrant Community: How Citizen-Powered Change Is Reshaping America”, smaller communities often have a one-of-a-kind story to tell. Here are Studer’s 10 advantages to small-town living:
1. A lower cost of living. People who may be priced out of the market in a big city can probably buy a house in a small town, where property taxes are likely to be lower.
2. Eclectic downtowns. Small towns typically have quirky, well-developed, livable, walkable downtowns with a lot of character. You’ll often find old buildings that have been renovated into trendy new spaces, such as craft breweries, wine or olive oil shops, apartments or offices.
3. Surprisingly good food. Many great chefs and entrepreneurs are setting up shop in cool downtown areas in smaller towns.
4. Interesting downtown programming. Many small towns work hard on farmer’s markets, festivals, and holiday-themed events. They do a great job of attracting residents downtown and keeping them entertained.
5. The appeal of small-town businesses. Small-town businesses often work harder at customer loyalty in order to compete with the online and big box retailers.
6. They are attracting young people. Small towns are often a great choice for young people, making for an increasingly attractive talent pool.
7. There’s often a great work/life balance. Small towns are often better suited to those who appreciate a slower pace to pursue their passions, whether it be biking, surfing or mountain climbing.
8. A strong sense of community. Small towns often make it easier to get to know your neighbors, offering the sense of “belonging” somewhere, especially when life has often become tech-driven.
9. More opportunities for meaningful civic engagement. In small towns, there’s often more opportunities to get involved and be a part of something in order to make a tangible difference.
10. An abundance of green spaces. Small towns often like to focus on their outdoor spaces—forests, lakes, rivers, bike trails, parks, etc. As people increasingly embrace a more active, health-conscious lifestyle, this proximity to nature becomes ever more important.