By Maggie Lee
You hear plenty about the great opportunities available in cities, whether for money, food, or a busy nightlife. Cities, though, are lacking a number of basic advantages that the suburbs offer.
In fact, there are at least 10 reasons suburbs are better than the city:
1) You can sleep somewhere more comfortable than a parking space.
You could get this 80-by-120-foot empty lot in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for $2,999,000 or you could get this 3 bed / 2 bath in Patchogue, NY for about 1/10 of that price, at $279,900 — on a lot 10 times the size. Plus grass.
2) Drive faster than you can walk.
How long will it take you to drive 10 miles? In New Jersey, driving on Route 80 at 65 mph, it’ll be only nine minutes and 14 seconds. In Manhattan, it’ll be one hour, three minutes and 10 seconds, with the city’s 9.5 mph average on weekdays. So, not quite slower than walking, with New York’s 3.41 mph average walking speed, but still pretty awful.
3) Commute without losing a chunk of your life.
Being able to drive at normal speeds helps you get places — like work. The average national commute is 25.4 minutes, which puts a suburb like Glen Burnie, Maryland, right at the norm, along with other areas on this interactive map. That puts the average commutes of cities like New York City (39 minutes), San Francisco (32.2 minutes), and Washington, D.C. (37.3 minutes) to shame. With 260 workdays per year and a two-way commute, NYC residents will take an extra 118 hours, San Francisco an extra 59 hours, and D.C. an extra 103 hours per year from your life, without pay.
4) See a movie without breaking the bank.
When you’re not commuting or working, you might want to relax with a box of buttery popcorn and that new movie you’ve been anticipating. The average movie ticket price in New York City is $13.88. Just a state over, in the suburbs of East Rutherford, NJ, theaters charge on average only $8 for a movie.
5) Afford a burger.
You’ll be able to save a lot more money while doing that whole “eating” thing if you decide to live in a suburb. NYC’s #1 burger, from Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village, costs $26. Just over in Montclair, New Jersey, the state’s #1 ranked burger, from Next Door, costs only $14. Similarly, NPR’s infographic shows Los Angeles’s average price for a burger at $11.37, and yet a burger costs only $4.50 in the nearby suburb of Agoura Hills.
6) Afford to work off that burger.
The average monthly gym membership fee for an adult in New York City is $91.90, and just awhile away in Hempstead, New York, only $20. Start exercising now by running as fast as you can away from the city.
7) Think happier thoughts.
Statistics have shown over the years that city dwellers experience mental health problems more than others, with 39 percent more mood disorders and 21 percent more anxiety disorders, according to The Wall Street Journal.
8) Send the kids off with diplomas.
Due to various factors — including a greater number of dropout factories and low-income student backgrounds — graduation rates in urban areas hardly compare to those in the suburbs. According to The New York Times, the average high school graduation rate in the 50 largest U.S. cities was 53 percent in 2009, compared to 71 percent in the suburbs.
9) Avoid sweltering summers.
During the summer, temperatures in cities are crazily higher than in the suburbs surrounding — buildings and pavement absorb heat from the sun, there aren’t enough plants to evaporate water and cool the air, and body heat from overcrowding doesn’t help, as thermal images show. If you choose to live in the city, the only available solution is to hide in your tiny apartment, blasting the A/C. Or just move to the ‘burbs, perhaps?
10) Live longer and prosper.
Suburban areas boast lower premature deaths, plus lower rates of low birth-weight babies, homicides and STDs, according to The Wall Street Journal. In the suburbs, you can live long and prosper on those cheap movie tickets and burgers, while the city-folk are honking their horns in traffic, stressing out over getting to work on time so that they can pay their impossible rents.