Almost a year ago, I wrote an American Thinker column praising small town America — or at least the modern suburban life that passes for old-time small town America — as an exceptionally friendly, connected way to live. That column was just based on my personal observations as an ex-city dweller and current suburban dweller. Turns out my instincts were right, though. I only just became aware that, back at the end of November, a UC Irvine professor studied 15,000 people to determine whether city or suburban people were happier. It was no surprise to me that the latter won the happiness stakes hands down:
Still no word on whether a stitch in time really does save nine, but a UC Irvine professor has uncovered evidence to support another famous proverb, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
In a study of 15,000 Americans, economist Jan Brueckner found that suburban living is better for people’s social life than city dwelling.
The less crowded a neighborhood is, the friendlier its residents become, the report says.
For every 10% drop in population density, the likelihood of people talking to their neighbors once a week goes up 10%, regardless of race, income, education, marital status or age.
It turns out that Hollywood, in the 30s through 50s, when it made sweet, often saccharine movies about small town life, was much more accurate than those modern films about suburban isolation and degradation.