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The Pros And Cons Of Living In A Small Town

A large chunk of the world’s population now live in cities. So it’s not surprising that a lot of people who want to move abroad think in terms of which city to live in, as well as which country to live in. A lot of the popular expat destinations are large cities, which leaves many undiscovered gems.

Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of living in a small, low populated town.

Space And Tranquility For Less Money

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Small town living is usually relatively cheap, and it’s possible to get a lot more for your money than in a big city. Not only are everyday items cheaper, but most importantly so are properties. If you want a large home with plenty of outdoor space, nice views and good air quality, it’s easier to find that in a smaller town.

Because there are less people around, you’ll see fewer crowds and less traffic and pollution, which will of course make for a better quality of life. A lower population means less activity, so you’ll experience a slower pace and a simpler way of life, if that’s what you’re seeking. For people looking to retire abroad this could be ideal. 

A Wholesome, Pleasant Community

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With fewer people around it won’t be long before you know everybody, so you won’t feel isolated and alone. Locals will most likely take an interest in you and what you’re up to. It won’t be hard to find someone to talk to, even about the smallest things.

People tend to be nicer when they are dependent on each other, and the friendliness of a small town means you’ll be able to find people who can help you in various ways. This allows everyone to feel more self reliant as a community.

Small towns tend to be more conservative, so for some it could be a good place to raise a family. People know each other better in small towns, resulting in a low crime rate.

But now let’s look at a couple of downsides.

Limited Options And Opportunities

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A low population means less people to meet and therefore a limited social life. If you’re coming from a lively city this could take some getting used to.

You’ll find that there’s less entertainment, and less things to see and do. In a relatively uneventful environment it could get boring, unless you don’t mind the quiet life.

With less activity comes less opportunities for work, and quite possibly lower wages. You might find yourself having to commute, unless you have an online income or some other alternative.

And in small towns there’s simply less stuff available to buy. You might have to travel into a bigger town or order some things online, or do without.

Less Privacy And Anonymity

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Because so many people will know you, gossip could become an issue. Anything you do or say could be misinterpreted or exaggerated, and it can be difficult for people to remain discreet.

It’s not easy to be anonymous when living in a town where over time you’ll become acquainted with most of the residents. This might not be an issue for you, but some people like to be able to do their own thing without everybody knowing.

It may prove hard to avoid people you don’t like or get on with, and if you say or do the wrong thing, or act in a way that the community finds unacceptable, you could get ostracised real quick.

Small town living isn’t for everyone. But for some it’s perfect. It really depends on what you want out of life. If it is something that you might consider, keep in mind that there are far more small towns than medium and large cities, so your options are many and varied. 

Of course there are negatives but you may be able to compromise on some things. And if you like only some of the aspects of a small town, perhaps you could move to one that is close to a city, giving you access to the best of both.

Living in a small town could be the best option for you, or perhaps not, but it’s definitely worth considering. You never know what you might find.

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