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More Americans prefer rural areas to large cities, survey shows

More than a quarter of Americans would prefer to live in a rural area than in an urban setting, a new Gallup survey showed Friday.

Gallup gave respondents six options in which ti live -- a large city, a small city, a suburb of both a large and small city, a town and a rural area. The research said 27 percent prefer the rural area -- an 8-point decline since 2001.

The second most popular answer (21 percent) was a suburb of a large city, followed by a small city (17 percent), a tie between a town and a large city (12 percent) and a small city suburb (10 percent).

Those who prefer a large city is up 4 points since the first survey 17 years ago.

Younger Americans aged 18-29 are on both sides -- with 17 percent favoring a big city and 18 percent a rural area. Only 13 percent of the 30-49 age group said they prefer a larger city.

The rural preference among Americans 30-49 mirrors the overall average, 27 percent. For Americans over 50, that figure rises to 31 percent.

The survey also found that more educated Americans prefer to live in an urban setting -- and the suburbs are most desirable among those with college educations, Gallup said.

The poll showed Republicans are more than twice as likely to opt for a rural lifestyle than Democrats, who are most likely to go for the suburbs.

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