Suburbs Not Most Popular, But Suburbanites Most Content

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Richard Morin and Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center

A Social and Demographic Trends survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that suburban residents across the United States are the most satisfied with their communities, compared to people living in cities, small towns or rural areas. The survey asked participants to rate questions relating to their residences' environment, suitability for families and friendliness. The survey also revealed that only 25% of suburban dwellers consider suburbs as their ideal community. This contrast was addressed in an earlier report published by the Pew Center, which found that although many people are satisfied with their current living environment, they also contemplate a more desirable community.
The recent survey found that whites were significantly more content with their communities than Hispanics, and even more so in relation to blacks. College educated and high-income individuals also expressed high satisfaction, in part due to the financial ability to live in a more comfortable environment. Age played a minor role in the variation of satisfaction, with the population under thirty reflecting slightly more content. Generally, residents living in the South and West were more satisfied than those living in the Midwest or Northeast. An analysis of the survey results concluded that the different demographical data used were independently associated with community satisfaction.
A previous study by the Center showed that Republicans were generally happier than Democrats, and were consequently more satisfied with their communities. In terms of political ideology, conservatives were slightly more content than liberals. The correlation between happiness and community satisfaction was found to be positive. Findings are yet to address the issue of whether community satisfaction enhances overall happiness, or vice versa.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Joanie Chembars
  • Created: 03/23/2009
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 05/26/2022


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