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Why are people moving out of cities?

With so many people making the conscious decisions to move out of cities and into smaller towns, you may be wondering why. In the UK especially, a great exodus is afoot with almost 94,500 people making the move to the countryside between 2016 and 2017. Trends are not too dissimilar in the US and other countries around the world, either. From escaping the noise, to the chance to leave the traffic congestion behind, here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at why a large number of people are abandoning life in the city.

Health & well-being

With reports in 2017 suggesting that living in a city could seriously damage your health, this could be one of the key factor behind this moving trend. When living in a city, you are exposed to higher levels of air and noise pollution, not to mention the stress of living in a constantly crowded area. While this issue is unavoidable when living in a city, living elsewhere offers better air for your lungs meaning you are reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular related problems.


In a city environment, it’s almost impossible to avoid traffic. In fact, earlier this year, it was revealed that UK rush-hour drivers spend over a day in traffic each year. With this statistic in mind, it’s no wonder that a rising number of us are heading to quieter areas away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas.


If you’ve ever gone on a countryside escape and returned to the city a week later, you will have noticed the difference in noise levels. It’s not just sirens and car horns making up the noise though, as there are numerous other contributors to the sounds we hear around us each day with construction work being one of the loudest contributors. New York is a particularly loud city with noise levels ranging from 101 decibels at Astor Place Subway to 54 decibels in Central Park. The top quietest cities, however, are Zurich, Vienna, Oslo, Munich and Stockholm, so there’s still hope for those wanting to live amongst an urban cityscape!

Safety concerns

One of the biggest reasons for people moving to the countryside and away from the main cities is due to safety. While there are some cities in the world which rank as the deadliest as a result of the high homicide rates, with Los Cabos in Mexico taking the top spot, safety is a key concern for many expats looking to make a move to some of the world’s most popular destinations including Cape Town in South Africa and Kingston in Jamaica. However, it isn’t only homicide that remains a concern for expats looking to move, with overall crime rates often taken into consideration. Looking at the 2018 mid-year crime rate index, expats can see that while Japan, Qatar, Singapore and United Arab Emirates remain some of the safest countries with low crime rates in the world, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Honduras, and South Africa’s crime rates are some of the highest.  Due to the higher levels of population in major cities, crime rate is often much higher than in the countryside, which is a key factor behind making the move.

If you would like to find out more information about how we can assist your move abroad, get in touch with a member of our expert team by calling 020 8961 4141.

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