The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives to a great extent. We see that U.S. residents started steadily to move from large cities and relocate to the suburbs in order to live in a healthier environment. The percentage of U.S. adults who admitted that they would rather live in a city was 23% in 2018. However, it seems that since Covid-19, many changes have come into our lives. The percentage of U.S. adults who admitted that they would rather live in a city was 19% in 2021.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that in 2018, the percentage of U.S. residents who admitted their willingness to live in the suburbs was 42%. In 2021 this number rose to 46%, pointing out that the Covid-19 pandemic changed people’s beliefs about life in the cities.
What about living in rural areas? The willingness of U.S. residents to live in rural areas remained quite unchanged between 2018 and 2021. More specifically, in 2018, 36% of U.S. adults said they would rather live in rural areas, while in 2021, 35% of U.S. adults said they preferred living in rural areas over anywhere else.
All of the above comes from new research from Pew Research Center. Also, the researchers concluded that nearly half (47%) of U.S. residents say that the pandemic has divided their community. Few respondents in the survey (13%) said that the pandemic had brought people together, while 39% of the respondents said that the pandemic did not make much difference.
During the last years, U.S. residents seem to be less satisfied with the quality of life in their place of living. However, it seems from the survey that most Americans are, at some point, satisfied. About 70% of U.S. adults in 2021 said that they are at some point satisfied with the quality of life in their region. At the same time, 24% said that they were very satisfied. These shares are down from 79% and 27%, respectively, in 2018. When it comes to urban and suburban areas, the degree of satisfaction showed a decrease of 5 points (from 23% to 18% in cities and from 31% to 26% in the suburbs). There has been no significant change in rural communities (26% said they were very satisfied in 2018, and 24% said this in 2021).
About half of U.S. adults (49%) say the availability of affordable housing is a major problem where they live, up ten percentage points from 2018. This problem may be one of the reasons that made U.S. adults change their opinion about cities and urged them to show a preference for suburbs.
Nowadays, drug addiction and the labor market seem to concern fewer U.S. residents than in the past. More specifically, 35% answered that drug addiction is an essential problem in their region, down from 42% in 2018. And 18% said that job seeking is an important problem, down from 31%. About one in five said that crime, the quality of K-12 schools, and racism are considered major problems in their region.
Lastly, 36% of U.S. residents said that the return to normality after the Covid-19 pandemic would last more than two years for their region to recover or that things will never be the same. 39% of respondents said that the local economy in their region would recover within two years’ time. While 14% said that their local economy would never be as it was. When asked about their own lives, about a third of U.S. residents said that maybe in two years, their life will be as it was before the pandemic or that they will never be the same again.
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