General Question

essieness's avatar

Could you live in the same small town your entire life?

Asked by essieness (7698points) June 11th, 2009

Specifically, towns under let’s say, a couple hundred thousand people.

The town I live in has about 100,000 people up from 83,000 ten years ago and is the largest in about a 2 hour radius. Most of the other towns around here have between a few hundred and maybe 75,000 people. I went to high school for two years in a town of about 4,000 and I know people who not only grew up there, but are now raising their own families there. They’ve never left. The town I graduated high school from has 25,000 people, and the same thing applies. What’s even more odd for that particular town is that many of my school acquaintances actually went away to nice universities, got bachelor’s and master’s degrees… then went back. To stay. This baffles me. Maybe I’m a roamer. Maybe I just want to try new things, meet new people. I’d like to hear everyone’s opinions on this.

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29 Answers

cyn's avatar

No, NO, AND NO!!!

cyn's avatar

i’m sorry but i don’t live in utopia

Milladyret's avatar

You call 200.000 a small town?? I grew up in a place withabout 25.000 people, and that was just fine, but I’m glad I moved to a big city, if just for a while.

Ivan's avatar

4,000 people is a small town?

applesaucemanny's avatar

@Ivan 4000 people is double the people who attend my high school

essieness's avatar

@Milladyret Well, I was just putting that number out that as a marker. I don’t know what everyone else considers a small town… Personally, no, I think 200,000 is a nice size, but you know, people from NY or Philly or something might beg to differ!

applesaucemanny's avatar

@cyndihugs there’s 2000 people there last time I checked 4000 people is double that so yeah

Milladyret's avatar

Oslo, the capitol of Norway, has almost 600.000 people, so by my standards 200.000 is a rather large town. But that’s just me ;)

Ivan's avatar

Well, I live about 3 miles from the nearest town, and it has 560 people in it. When we go to Portland, which has a population of about 4,000, we don’t think of it as a “small town.” Small towns don’t have multiple fast food restaurants and large hotels.

essieness's avatar

@Ivan Then I’m assuming you’re ok with living in that situation? You haven’t answered the question.

Ivan's avatar

Well, I was just trying to establish some definitions. I don’t think I could live in my town (<1000 people) my entire life. But a town of 100,000? Sure.

Facade's avatar

definitely not.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m from generations of people who lived in towns of less than 400 people. Even without automobiles, people from these towns did find ways to travel and visit outside of their own, that’s how we’d got fresh blood for marriages! Living in a small place and working there too doesn’t have to mean a stunted or unfulfilled life.

LC_Beta's avatar

I grew up in the ‘burbs and have lived in San Francisco for several years. I never thought I could handle small-town life until I was hired as a contractor in a town of <50 for a summer. I never wanted to leave.

DominicX's avatar

It depends on how small the town really is. 75,000 is not a small town in my opinion. It’s a city. Walnut Creek has that amount of people. Walnut Creek has freeways, a huge downtown area, big office buildings, big boulevards, a BART station, and some big houses. It’s not a small town. Walnut Creek is also surrounded by other cities with similar amounts, some with more, some with less. It all depends on how isolated a place is and how much is there. Los Altos Hills has 7,000 people but it’s in the middle of Silicon Valley and is not too far from a city with over a million people (San Jose). I would be willing to live in LAH my entire life (it’ll always be the dream… :).

Of course, I live in a city of 800,000 people, but that’s not really what I want to continue doing. I want to live in an area with big houses and big yards. You usually get that in places with small populations.

Bluefreedom's avatar

No, sorry, I just can’t do it. I was born and raised in Las Vegas and I’ve been living in Phoenix for 30 years now. It’s the big city only for this urbanite. I’m too addicted to a large choice of stores, entertainment venues, and other things being only a short drive away along with the sounds, events, and lifestyle that comes with living in a large city environment. If I was confined (for lack of a better word) in a small town in a rural location, I’d probably go stir crazy before too long.

YARNLADY's avatar

I now think I could. There was a time when I wouldn’t want to. I need a nice, small retirement village on the ocean.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t think I could do it. Of course I’ve fantasized about it, but I would miss being so close to a large city.
The township I grew up in is very densely populated, and is apparently the “5th largest municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” My high school had about 4,000, it was huge.
I like populated suburbs.

Jack79's avatar

First of all, 100,000 is more than enough. It probably has anything you need (ok if you really want to see a big city like once a year, go spend Christmas in NY and you’ll be fine). And it’s small enough to navigate in, and to have access to nature, and maybe even feel a sense of community. But big enough to not get bored of seeing the same faces everyday. But small enough to eventually bump into friends sooner or later. I don’t know, I like towns that size.

But it’s still a trick question. Because it all depends on your own experiences. People who have lived in big cities with bright lights even for a year, but have not gotten fed up with them, will always feel restless and never be content with the smaller ones. But I think if you come from that town (or perhaps an even smaller one nearby), then you should be fine.

Personally I think I’d like something like that.

ubersiren's avatar

No, I think living different places of different populations (by number and culture) has been good for my soul. I grew up in a town of 20,000, which I think it probably medium sized (?) but I wouldn’t even want to live there my whole life. Yet, there are people there who I don’t think have ever left the county. That’s just not for me.

RedPowerLady's avatar

The town I grew up in has a population of just under 20,000. And the next biggest town over is just above 50,000 (many go there to shop). The largest town near there is about a 4 hour drive away (137,000) which is where I live now and I find it quite large.

I think living in a small town can be peaceful and fantastic but I think it is much easier as a grown adult and if you have reliable transportation (also much easier if you live in reasonable driving distance to a bigger city).

As a teen I absolutely hated the town I lived in. There was nothing to do and no culture. Lots of gossip, racism, and small-minded people. It was horrible. That’s why I moved.

I do not think I could live in a small town my entire life. But, like you, I know many people who were born there and are now raising families there. And it completely baffles me.

As teens we would joke and call it the “vortex” because even if you tried to escape you were drawn back. I am adamant about not being drawn back and don’t even like to visit the place anymore.

I simply can’t understand how people can continue to live there but I don’t think it is the size that is the problem. It is that the residents are perfectly content with the place despite the multitude of problems and so no improvements occur. In fact this town had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state for quite awhile and I’m sure some horrible other statistics as well.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

there are 67,000 people in my home town. It is one of five cities grouped together, so that is a total of about 400,000 people. I expect to live the rest of my life here. I grew up in a rural area, and the graduating class of my high school was 167 people. I dislike big cities, and find them too claustrophobic for my tastes. I’ve been to Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Denver. I’d never live in any of those places.

The problem with really small towns is the insular nature of the inhabitants, but big cities are just too anonymous for me.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No. I’ve been to the small towns of relatives and find I need the hustle and bustle of city life. A couple of days in those burgs and I’m bonkers. I’m fortunate that I live in a section of megalopolis that has the feel of a small town, but the “big city” is literally across the bridge.

JLeslie's avatar

I like being within 45 minutes of a major city, but if I am living in a small town outside of that city that is fine. I just want access. My town is around 10,000 I think? I am less then 30 minutes from downown Memphis, and just 10 minues from civilization uncluding a major mall, 20 restaurants, Home Depot, etc.

By the way Memphis is not exactly a major city to me, I mean NY, Chicago, San Fran, Miami, DC, etc.

@evelyns_pet_zebra “The problem with really small towns is the insular nature of the inhabitants” so true, I’m sure there are some exceptions though.

wilma's avatar

I have lived in the same small town my whole life, less than 1,300 people.
I hope I never have to move away.
I love to travel and visit big cities, and other places. I love experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city. Shopping and dining and everything else metropolitan areas have to offer.
I also love coming home.
My village is quiet and serene, if that is what I want. If not, I go find some activity.
It is safe and friendly. I live within driving distance of a few much larger cities and I can go there for shopping, theater, dining or medical treatments etc.
I know my neighbors and they know me. We help each other. The kindness and support here is very important to me.
My grown children do not live here, there are no jobs here in their field of work. They have said that they have considered commuting so that they could return here to raise their children.
Yes, I hope to travel the world as I have done for years, and live here the rest of my life.

Aster's avatar

I wish I could have stayed in south Jersey since I hated to leave but I had no choice but to move to Big D. It was a fun bus ride to Philly and oh, so pretty. Who knows if I would have grown tired of it?

YARNLADY's avatar

Only if the weather agreed with me. I lived in a very delightful town in the Western Rockies, and I have often thought fondly of that town, but it snows there half of the year, and I hate snow.

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