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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
A good place to live
Rural view with gate
The country dream is not always borne out by reality (Scroll down to see the results of the survey)
The lure of the open countryside may still be an irresistible dream for many people fed up with the pressures of urban life.

But the reality of what you get on arrival is not always so different from what is left behind, judging by a survey of lifestyle priorities.

Adults in urban and rural areas of England were asked by Mori what factors made somewhere a good place to live.

And while some priorities clearly reflected the pros and cons of their respective environments, others suggested that life sometimes is not so different, whether you live in a concrete jungle or a country cottage.

Under-served

Although freedom from crime was a clear winner among all groups, health services and affordable housing were also universally important.

The importance of the countryside was most appreciated by those already living there, despite the apparent desire among city folk to succumb to the call of the wild (or at least the rural).

But the significance of public transport among the smallest, most remote communities sends a strong message to planners and government of where they feel most under-served.

Mori interviewed 1,665 people aged 16 and over face-to-face, in February 2004.

What makes England a good place to live
How the priorities of different-sized communities vary (all %)
Factors Under 3,000 3,000-10,000 All rural Over 250,000 All urban Total England
Low crime level 68 74 71 69 70 70
Health services 61 61 61 56 59 59
Affordable housing 61 65 63 53 58 58
Education 66 49 55 52 53 53
Public transport 58 49 52 52 52 52
Shopping facilities 53 53 53 50 50 51
Job prospects 55 46 49 49 50 50
Access to countryside 55 54 54 42 48 49
Pollution 42 50 47 46 48 48
Good neighbours 42 52 49 47 46 47
Open spaces 44 47 46 40 42 42
Traffic congestion 36 39 38 39 41 40
Children's facilities 38 39 39 41 40 39
Teenagers' activities 42 33 36 37 38 38
Sport/leisure facilities 41 40 40 33 35 36
Community activities 30 26 27 29 30 29
Source: Mori 2004




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