Longing for the country life...

A nationwide study of British adults has revealed that more than three in ten (31 percent) of those in rural areas consider themselves “mostly happy” - compared to under a quarter (23 percent) of city inhabitants.

As many as one in five who live in a city admit to being constantly stressed, compared to just ten percent of those who live in the countryside. 

The survey also found people in the countryside are happier with their neighbourhoods than those living in cities. The study of 2,000 Britons revealed that urban residents were more likely to be worried about crime than their country counterparts, with over a quarter of city dwellers worrying about crime compared to just under a fifth of country residents.

The study found they were also more concerns about safe neighbourhoods, with more than one in five (21 percent) of those in cities expressing anxiety about their children having safe places to play, compared to 17 percent of rural dwellers. 

Those living in cities were also more worried about the quality of schools, and twice as likely to worry about air quality than people who live in the country.

However, the study commissioned by Yopa, who has launched its 2019 Commuter Guide, revealed that despite country dwellers being generally happier - there are downsides relating to living in the sticks, the main bugbears to emerge were a lack of decent public transport (41 percent) and as many as 40 percent of those living outside of a city said they often feel lonely and cut off.

Benefits of living in a city, were given as great public transport (42 percent), a vibrant nightlife (35 percent) and a wide choice of work and career options (30 percent).

However as many as three quarters of people living in cities said they would jump at the chance of moving to the countryside.

The main obstacles holding Brits back from moving included the cost of commuting back into town (32 percent), while 28 percent said they would struggle to know where to move to. 

But according to the data, a fifth of people living in cities worry about the cost of housing and being able to afford a property that is big enough for their family. 

They are also more likely to be anxious about being scammed and identity theft than those who live in outside the city (16 percent compared to 13 percent).

Those living in the country spend less time commuting, a smaller percentage of their income on housing, and are more likely to know the names of their neighbours than city dwellers.

Ben Poynter, CEO of Yopa commented; “People often ask themselves whether they should live close to work or move out of town for more space and a better quality of life. But, with so many factors to consider, people often give up before they even start.

Interestingly, the over 60s place more value on fresh air and nature than younger generations, with nearly eight out of ten (78 percent) saying country air is essential to their peace of mind, compared to just 58 percent of 16-to-29-year-olds. 

77 percent said that the proximity to nature is a positive to country living, compared to just 50 percent of the younger generation.