A recent study confirms what many small-town residents already knew: People who live in small towns and rural areas are happier than everyone else.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at survey answers from people in 1,200 communities and concluded, “Life is significantly less happy in urban areas,” according to an article in The Washington Post.
Chris Barrington-Leigh, one of the authors of the study, explained that people in cities often have fewer social connections nearby, and feel less connected to their communities than people in rural areas.
People in small towns enjoy shorter commute times, less expensive housing and are more liking to feel a “sense of belonging” in their communities.
Others who tout the benefits of small town living cite a slower pace of life, unique traditions (e.g. “June Jaunt) and traditional values.
This weekend, Jim Ratts, who was born in 1948 at St. Rose Hospital in Great Bend and spent his childhood in St. John, is coming home for his high school alumni banquet and will bring his band, Runaway Express, to present a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in the St. John High School Auditorium. “I last performed there in fourth grade,” Ratts told the Great Bend Triune. This weekend the band is finally releasing its CD “Small Towns,” which Ratts said was started 20 years ago.
Nowadays, Jim and his wife Salli live in Englewood, Colorado, part of the Denver metroplex. “We don’t live in a small town, but I’m a small town kid ‘cause I grew up in one,” he said.
In the song “This Old Town” (another song on the CD), Janis Ian wrote, “The heart of any town is the people that you’ve known, and they always call you home.” Small communities aren’t perfect but, for many of us, they’re the best choice. That’s a scientific fact.