In the United States, we use three words to describe the types of areas we live in: city, suburb, and country. These are also known as urban, suburban, and rural areas. There are big differences between living in the city, a suburb, or the country. Let’s look at each of them in detail:

City (Urban)

city suburb country

Cities are highly populated areas. This means many people live there. The sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians (people walking), and the streets are crowded with cars, motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles.

Because so many people want to live in such a small area, the buildings are very tall. The taller the buildings in a city, the more people can live there. When cities grow, they usually grow both outward and upward. Newer buildings in cities have many stories. Most cities have buildings with more than three stories (floors or levels). Some cities have buildings with 100 or more stories. Most people in cities live in an apartment with many other families in the same building.

City: pros & cons

Living in a city has its pros and cons. One great thing about cities is that you can see and meet many new people every day. It is possible to walk for hours and see thousands of people you have never met. You don’t know them and they don’t know you. This is called anonymity, meaning that nobody knows each other’s names.

Some people like being anonymous. When you are anonymous, you can do things without worrying about the people you know judging your behavior. But being anonymous can also feel lonely. It is strange, but many people can feel very lonely at the same time they are surrounded by millions of people. This is the difference between being alone (nobody around you) and being lonely (feeling not connected to people).

Cities are great places to find opportunity. If you are very talented, a city is more likely to have excellent opportunities for you than a small town. Because of this, many artists, musicians, academics, business people, and others move to cities to find work and inspiration. Most of the greatest colleges and universities worldwide are in cities.

Cities are divided into neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are groups of city blocks (4 roads that form a square). Residents of the same neighborhood meet each other at the park, at the supermarket, at churches, synagogues, and mosques, or because their children attend the same school. When you live in a city, you probably know some of the families that live in the same building as you.

Suburb (Suburban)

Suburbs are areas near cities. They are made of many houses. The houses in the suburbs have one or two stories (levels). Usually, one family lives in each house. The suburbs are also made of small businesses, strip malls, markets, and restaurants. Together, the people and businesses form a town. A town is the central government of each suburb.

Suburbs became very popular places to live in the United States in the 1950s. After World War II ended, people in the United States had many children and moved out of the cities. Many families bought a car and wanted a driveway where they could park it. They wanted a yard where their children could play and they could relax. This new lifestyle needed a more relaxed neighborhood with less noise and traffic.

Country (Rural)

The countryside is an area where there are very few houses. It is where there are many farms, fields, and woods. There may be some villages, but the populations are very small. These villages look like a few streets where there is market, a few stores, a gas station, and a couple of other businesses that people use.

Most farming in the United States is done on huge farms in rural areas. Land is less expensive in the country. Also, there is far less pollution than in the city.