Big City or Quaint Countryside: Which is Safer?

June 1, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

City life and suburban life each offer their own sets of benefits, but when it comes to asking which lifestyle is safer, the answer might not be as clear as one would think.

Here are a few factors to consider:

Health

When discussing the topic of safety, life and death situations may come to mind. But there are also health risks that can threaten one’s quality of life. Those who live in the city, especially children, for example, can be more susceptible to the likes of allergies and asthma. Include low-income urban areas, and you may be introducing toxic threats as well.

One interesting theory suggests that the immune systems of those living in the country are stronger against allergies and asthma compared to that of their city neighbors, because city dwellers aren’t around as many natural elements as dust and wild growth. Because city dwellers are typically more accustomed to “decontaminated” environments, smaller amounts of pollen and dust could have a larger impact on their systems.

On the other hand, one advantage to city living is having more advanced medical care and technology readily available.

Accidents

According to one study, rural areas are more prone to accidents that result in injury or death than their urban counterparts. Car crashes were the biggest culprit. The study showed that outlying areas experience more than twice as many accidents involving vehicles than areas within city limits. And although gun-related accidental deaths occurred more often in the city for people ages 20 to 44, that number was higher for children and for those 45 and older in a country setting.

Crime

It’s common knowledge that the higher an area’s population, the more problems it may experience—many of which are crimes. The most violent cities are spread across the U.S., from Detroit and Oakland, which top the list, to Memphis and Baltimore. Although Detroit has been ranked No. 1 several years in a row, it has made progress with a reduced number of homicides and overall crime since 2013.

As a rule of thumb, if you live in a big city, take care to protect yourself physically, emotionally, and financially. If you’re curious about your risk, use LifeLock’s risk calculator to find out your level of vulnerability when it comes to personal safety and identity theft.

If your results are alarming, take a few steps to stay better protected. Enroll in a self-defense class, subscribe to an identity theft service, and be mindful of the unprotected Wi-Fi connections you access while on-the-go.

Natural Disasters

Many populations with high poverty rates are affected more greatly by natural disasters than wealthier communities, which have better access to resources needed to recover from such disasters. In addition, natural disasters that occur in rural areas can often be more life threatening since there is limited availability of rescue or emergency response services.

Interestingly enough, though Detroit was ranked No. 1 as the U.S. city with the most crime, it also received a top rating among U.S. cities for disaster relief resources.

Whether you live in an urban setting or call a place more rural home, be aware of your surroundings. No place is completely free of danger, but by being aware of the risks around you, you’ll be taking the most important step towards living more safely.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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