Choosing between rural and city living means weighing the pros and cons of nearby conveniences, scenery, noise levels, wildlife, and more. Considering your location in relation to restaurants and cafes, shopping, airports, post offices, and schools is great, but safety should be a crucial factor as well.
Consider these safety points when you’re weighing your options.
Urban roads are full of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians, making them seem more hectic and dangerous than quiet rural roads. However, the reality can be surprising. Rural roads are much more dangerous than urban thoroughfares. In fact, for every kilometre you drive on a rural road, you are four to six times more likely to be killed than you would be driving the same distance on an urban road.
Additionally, people who live in particularly remote areas are likely to drive further distances to reach schools, work, shopping, or other amenities. Of all fatal vehicle crashes occurring in Australia, over half occur in rural areas, and another 14 percent occur in towns with populations less than 50,000 people. That means, less than a third of all fatal crashes occur in cities and towns with populations greater than 50,000 people.
Property crime happens in rural and urban areas alike. In rural areas, its rising rate affects between five and six percent of farming families. Thieves take everything from livestock to machinery, and they target either highly accessible properties (along highways or on the edges of towns) or extremely remote farms. Farms in between areas are affected far less often.
In urban areas, property crimes affect residents at similar rates, and common crimes include vehicle theft, muggings, and residential burglaries.
Compared to the rest of the world, Australian cities are extremely safe. Sydney ranks as the world’s sixth safest city, and Melbourne follows closely behind at number nine.
Within Australia, Adelaide claims the spot as the safest city. When ranked in terms of family friendliness — based on factors such as crime, income, and livability — half of the cities in Australia’s top 10 are not bustling urban centers or state capitals. Instead, the friendliest cities include small, regional towns such as Albury-Wodonga, Toowoomba and Launceston.
Homicide rates broken down by state indicate the most populous states as having the highest numbers of homicides.
In a study commissioned by the Australian Institute of Criminology, 20.8 percent of respondents claimed to have been affected by some type of identity theft during their lifetimes, and just over nine percent of respondents indicated they experienced misuse of personal information within the year.
These figures position identity theft near the top of Australian crimes in terms of percentages of affected individuals. Data suggests individuals earning above $37,000 are more likely to experience issues. Additionally, individuals living in rural areas report more issues with identity theft than people living in large capital cities.
However, this statistical difference hasn’t necessarily been attributed to higher incidences of identity theft in rural areas, and if you want to see if you are at risk, regardless of where you live, check out LifeLock’s risk calculator as part of your research. Instead, the statistical difference may be an increased willingness of rural respondents to more honestly share experiences in cases where urban respondents may have felt embarrassment. Another possibility for the statistical difference may be related to naivety on the part of rural citizens using insecure websites.