Disadvantages of living in a city

Updated April 17, 2017

City life, like rural life, has its share of advantages and disadvantages. People's lifestyle choices dictate where they choose to live. People who want a modern lifestyle, with a focus on luxury, convenience and accessibility, will choose city life. Advanced technological appliances to better job opportunities, better wages and extensive product ranges are some of the attractions of city life. However, the disadvantages include high cost of living, poor lifework balance, noise pollution and stress.

Challenges to Infrastructure

Increased movement of people from rural to urban areas puts a strain on the city's infrastructure. As more people join the commuter rush each day, roads and freeways become crowded. New construction adds to the chaos as it struggles to keep up with demand. Ambulances and emergency vehicles sometimes find it hard to navigate the bumper-to-bumper traffic during rush hours. This can put seriously ill or injured people's lives at risk. Schools have problems accommodating increasing student numbers.


In 2007 the United Nations estimated the total world population at 6.6 billion and predicted a rise of over 37 per cent by 2050. More than half of the 6.6 billion were living in urban areas. Roughly 80 per cent of the U.S. population, for example, lives in urban areas. As population density in cities increases, it leads to overcrowding. This happens because the demand for housing is more than the supply of housing.

Greater Spread of Illnesses

People who live in cities are constantly being exposed to an unhealthy lifestyle that leads to health problems. The free availability of junk food and hectic pace of life do not allow much room for a healthy diet. People are constantly in a rush in the city, and they end up eating on the run, eating in cars while driving, eating between meetings or not at all. As air and water pollution increases, it may bring disease. Stressful jobs and commuting and trying to juggle too many things lead to heart problems and high blood pressure.

Safety Concerns

Crime figures for the city are always higher than that of rural areas. People who live in the city are exposed to a violent environment on the streets and from watching the news on television. Some city dwellers don't bother to help a person who is being attacked -- they prefer to mind their own business. Cities spawn gangs that cause much of the violence; rape, robbery, assault and murder have become common everyday occurrences in some cities.

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About the Author

Devon Willis started writing in 2002. He has worked for publication houses like Edward Elgar Publishing and Nelson Thornes in Gloucestershire, England. He has a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in mass communication from the University of Gloucestershire and London Metropolitan University, respectively.