12 Pros and Cons About Living in Small Town USA

An Internet user from a small English town is pondering a move to the United States, so he is asking American users about the perks and drawbacks of American small-town loving. Here are the takeaways.

1. Diane Loves Her Tasty Freeze

Soft Drinks
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“Hooking up with Diane at the Tasty Freeze is a huge small-town perk,” jokes an observer. Though I see the romance in this scenario, I think he is joking. Diane, it’s just you, me, and this big slurp — the world is ours!

2. How Small Do You Mean?

The Loneliest Road in America
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“Where my dad retired, it’s an hour or more drive to a supermarket and three to four hours to a Costco,” warns another poster with knowledge. “Pretty long drive to get to a pub; certainly, I wouldn’t be walking.” In a small English town, you are rarely more than 30 minutes from a convenience store; America does things differently.

3. Ready To Work?

Facade of stores and pubs in the small old town of Talkeetna
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“When there is bad weather, be sure to have your own snow plow or a kind neighbor,” advises the next commenter. “Have a chainsaw, have a gun for wild varmints with rabies, and have a generator.” The good old American small town is not for the faint-hearted.

4. That’s No Small Town!

RIVERTON, WYOMING, UNITED STATES - Jul 18, 2010: Annual hot air balloon festival in Riverton, Wyoming
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When the original poster reveals he wishes for a population of roughly 10,000 people, he fails to realize that, in American terms, this is a small city. “10,000 would be the largest city within 100 miles of me,” jokes a rural resident. “Do you want rural or just a smaller community outside a major city?”

5. A Closed Community

Athens, Attica / Greece - April 20, 2013: Exhibition of Cretan products in Zappeion. People selling and buying traditional cretan products like olive oil, cheese products, wine, honey, olives etc.
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“Small life is a lot harder when you don’t know anyone,” explains another small-towner. “The charm usually comes from being close-knit. Though that comes with downsides, too.” I know a friend who lives in a small village; he says everybody knows each other and is suspicious of all outsiders.

6. Come to Rhode Island, Guy

Valley Falls and Board Street bridge over Blackstone River at Valley Falls Heritage Park, between Cumberland and Central Falls, Rhode Island RI, USA.
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Rhode Island might be worth checking out for you in New England,” suggests a Rhode Islander. “Lots of small towns around here, and it never takes too long to reach a destination, no matter where you want to be.” It all depends on where your small town is located.

7. Your Living Standards Will Drop

Man looking at bills
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“People tend to be self-sufficient, and building a huge house means you have to maintain and clean all of that,” someone warns. “You won’t be able to hire a nanny or cleaning service. The plumber or electrician may be several days or weeks out if you have a problem.” This gentleman may want to reconsider his goals for rural living. The mortgage rates in America are unkind to many.

8. Expensive Groceries

woman grocery shopping reading label
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“Groceries are also more expensive here,” argues a rural resident. “The staples cost considerably more than in the city.” Of course, when food needs to travel further, it incurs more mileage costs. You must be prepared to spend more or improvise with your dietary requirements.

9. Arizona Magic

USA, Arizona, Sedona 2014-11-09 Die historic city Sedona is dominated by colorful sandstone rocks
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Someone who moved to rural Arizona promotes the finer points of open country living. “I grew up in a town of about 7,000 in Arizona,” explains the observer. “It’s quiet at night, closer to beautiful nature, and you can actually see the stars.”

10. Pennsylvanian Positives

Kurtz's Mill Covered Bridge in Lancaster County Central Park, Pennsylvania.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

I live in a rural town of 300 in Pennsylvania — I can be at a Walmart in ten minutes, gas in five minutes, and a big city in 60,” shares a small-town lover. “Houses run between $50,000 to $100,000. The people are generally friendly and helpful.” These reasons are why more and more families seek semi-rural living.

11. Rural Ohio for the Win

Put In Bay ohio
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As a person from Ohio with a nice little plot of land in a rural area, it’s awesome,” notes an Ohio native. “I truly do enjoy it. Is it a bit more work than living in the city? Yes. In my opinion, the rewards and freedom you enjoy make it totally worth it.”

12. The Ups and Downs of Oklahoma

EL RENO, OKLAHOMA—SEPTEMBER 2017: A public school bus stops on a red light at the corner of Country Club Road and Sunset Drive in El Reno, Oklahoma.
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“Even where I live in Oklahoma City, you can have a nice, rural patch of land within city limits,” says an Oklahoma resident, though there is one caveat. “Small towns here, though, can range from really nice and quaint to falling apart with tons of substance abuse problems.”

Despite most Americans being wholly against being taxed by the government, nobody speaks up about the sales tax levied on nearly every item a person buys. No other country willingly accepts sales tax the way Americans do. Even fundamental utilities and perishable food items are taxed, which is less prevalent in European countries.

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