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A study of city dwellers in America and their feelings on everything from the cost of their rent to the character of their cities.


I City Life

Why do people choose to live in the city if they can afford to live elsewhere?

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Top reasons for city living

Never a dull moment. Work, friends, food, and fun are but a short stroll away.

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For which of the following reasons did you choose to live in the city? Please select all that apply.

Dreaming of suburbia?

55% say they never plan to move out of the city.

Do you ever plan to move to the burbs?
16% No, definitely not
39% No, probably not
16% Yes, definitely
29% Yes, probably
What about when you have a family?
  • The city kids are alright. 92% of urbanites think it’s possible to raise a family in the city.
  • Soccer Dads. More men than women want to move to the ‘burbs when they have kids.

I My Phone

With apps for everything from ordering dinner to diagnosing illness, a smartphone is the most vital resource for urbanites – even more so than a car.

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  • laptop
    25% for laptops
  • white car profile
    19% for cars
  • tv remote
    12% for tv
  • tablet
    6% for tablets
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In your daily routine, losing which piece of technology would have the greatest negative impact on you?

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Off the grid

This group also craves time offline. On average, urbanites need to be unplugged for 16.5 hours to feel truly relaxed.

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Go ahead, unplug


Broke But Happy

It’s expensive to live in the city, but 71% say it’s worth it. Burning the biggest hole in urbanite’s pockets are: rent, going out, and getting around.

“I love the city, but I wish I spent less on… ”
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Living in the moment

Women are more likely than men to apply 0% of their budget to savings.

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30% aren't
saving $

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45% aren't
saving $

The intangibles

We found that urbanites value experiences - like trips and events - over things like cars, houses, and big TVs.

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61% prefer to spend
$ on experiences

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39% prefer to
spend $ on things


Down the Road

In the next 5 years, car ownership in cities will undergo a shift. Urbanites will rely less and less on personally-owned cars and more on car sharing, ridesharing, and other forms of personal mobility.

Do you own a car?
23% I own a car but don’t use it everyday
10% I do not own a car but I wish I did
9% I do not own a car and I don’t need one
9% I do not have a license


50% of urbanites either do not own a car or do not drive every day

Gimmie the keys. 69% would prefer to take the wheel rather than be driven by someone else.

83% think self-driving cars will become common in their lifetime.

When do you think self-driving cars will outnumber human-driven cars?

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Millennials are 25% more likely to think self-driving vehicles are safe than boomers.

Urban Citizenship

Making Cities Better

Urbanites take pride in their cities and neighborhoods, but many are passive about local affairs. 90% see social issues that need attention, yet more than half have done nothing to address those issues.

Urbanites rate their biggest concerns
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Costly Housing
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Poor School Districts
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Access to Public Transit
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Lack of Walkability
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Lack of Bike Lanes
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Which of the following issues, if any, do you see in your city? Please select all that apply.

No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

More than 1/2 of urbanites say rapid urbanization is becoming a problem. A majority believe it is causing cities to lose their character and become less affordable.



Ch Ch Ch Changes

Despite the additional costs and stressors of city life, most urbanites are sure they are where they want to be. As lifestyles, technology, and transportation evolve, it will be fascinating to see how cities – and their residents – rise to the challenge.

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By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will be urban.*