"“One mark of a great soldier is that he fight on his own terms or fights not at all.”
From " The Art of War" , by Sun Tzu, 5th Century B.C.
The fact that fate has me writing this expose from the largest city in the land is beyond rich. My wife and I have lived in Brooklyn, New York for about a year and a half, now. We moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when she landed a surgery Residency here. Pittsburgh is a big city, to be sure, but it’s tiny in comparison with New York, or even just the Borough of Brooklyn.
I’ve been living in big cities since I was in my late teens. They just agree with me, I guess.
As I researched this article, I learned that living in a city gives you a 20% higher level of anxiety than living in a rural area. Well, that’s certainly not a shocking statistic. I can, literally, live with that.
But I’ve broken a basic journalistic rule…I’ve led with one of the lowest statistics out of those I learned in my research. The Associated Press style rule is that you use the largest number first, then go in descending order.
And so I should have first mentioned that living in a city doubles the risk of schizophrenia, vs. living in a rural area.
I learned all manner of things. Including that the incidence of mental disorder or insanity is 82% higher in areas near the center of the city, vs. the residential sections near the outskirts.
And that the risk of developing psychosis is 77% higher in urban areas than in rural areas.
And that living in a city gives you an almost 40% higher risk of depression .
The only good news I’ve uncovered:
“Cities that ranked the lowest for depression were Miami, New York City and Washington D.C.”
However, I also learned that the rate of cognitive decline is 32% faster in cities than it is in rural areas.
And that living in a city gives you a 6-19% greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease than living in a rural area.
We learned in a previous article of mine that crime is 1,500% higher in urban areas than it is in the most rural areas. And that trend goes back into history, prior to the dawn of “technology”.
The fact that crime has dropped exponentially of late in large urban areas whose populations have not decreased means that all cities, regardless of geography or culture, are far worse places to live simply because of the increased density of Death energy in the environment of the city, vs. the country.
Versus the plausible-deniability excuse, “greater population density”
I only just learned this, myself. It’s breaking news.
The folks in charge went with the " there’s no such thing as the Ether " confidence game so that they could work as much woe upon humanity as possible, without anyone “seeing” them doing it.
I’ve known that since 2002 or 2003.
Jeff Miller, Brooklyn, New York, February 26, 2020
If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, or know someone who would be, please send me a note at [email protected]
1939 - Mental disorders in urban areas: an ecological study of schizophrenia and other psychoses.
Faris, R. E. L., & Dunham, H. W. (1939). Mental disorders in urban areas: an ecological study of schizophrenia and other psychoses. Univ. Chicago Press.
This study of 34,864 cases of mental disorder admitted to 4 state hospitals and 8 private sanitariums in Chicago during the period 1922-1934 by means of ecological mapping reveals a close relationship between insanity and the ecological structure of the city. The rates of incidence per 100,000 of population decrease steadily from 362 in the disorganized areas near the center of the city to 55.4 in the residential sections near the outskirts. Schizophrenia alone shows a similar distribution, but manic-depressive insanity is randomly distributed.
2009 - Although it is widely known that, during the 19th century, life expectancy was substantially lower in cities than in rural areas, the differences in survival rates and proportional hazard ratios across urban sizes and rural environments are less well understood .
October 27, 2016 - Graveyards give you the spooks ? Many homeowners like living near cemeteries
January 16, 2018 - Big, Dense Cities Help People Live Longer
April 26, 2018 - In recent years, the United States has had a relatively poor performance with respect to life expectancy compared to the other developed nations. Urban sprawl is one of the potential causes of the high rate of mortality in the United States.
(As if Urban sprawl did not exist elsewhere. - ed)
January 31, 2019 - The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910
In Europe, the urban penalty existed well before the intensification of urbanization in the nineteenth century . In some pre-modern European cities, mortality was so high that population growth depended mainly on migration, as natural increase was negative. De Vries’ (1990) model of urban demographic transition indicates, for instance, that high urban mortality in pre-transitional populations imposed a ceiling on urbanization (see also Dyson 2011). Even today, features of urban life continue to have a negative impact on health and survival in some populations (WHO 2016), including Scotland (see Walsh et al. 2016; National Records of Scotland 2017).
June 26, 2019 - People living in rural areas may be at lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Using data from more 260,000 adults in New South Wales who were aged 45 and over, we found those living in regional or remote areas of the state had a 6% to 19% lower risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease over 11 years, compared with their city counterparts.
December 6, 2019 - Study: Grand Rapids has highest rate of depression nationwide
Twenty-five percent of residents in Grand Rapids are diagnosed with depression.
The number of Americans diagnosed has been on the rise over the past few years and that’s especially true in Grand Rapids, according to a recent study.
There has been an increase of almost 18% of Americans diagnosed with depression between 2016 and 2017, and a study conducted by Insurance Providers shows Grand Rapids has the highest rate of depression among “large U.S. metro cities,” with 25% of residents diagnosed.
Behind Grand Rapids, Cincinnati ranked second for its share of adults diagnosed with depression with 24.5%. Other top cities were Birmingham, Ala., Rochester, N.Y. and Salt Lake City.
Cities that ranked the lowest for depression were Miami, New York City and Washington D.C.
December 18, 2018 - The risk of developing psychosis is 77% higher in urban than rural areas.
December 19, 2019 - Are Cities Good or Bad for Your Health ?
December 28, 2019 - The impact of rural-urban community settings on cognitive decline: results from a nationally-representative sample of seniors in China
However, the curvature rate of cognitive decline was faster in urban community setting indicated by a positive interaction between the quadratic time term and urban community setting on cognitive impairment (β = 0.320, p < .05).
2020 - The physical and social environments of urban life can contribute both positively and negatively to mental health and wellbeing. Cities are associated with higher rates of most mental health problems compared to rural areas: an almost 40% higher risk of depression , over 20% more anxiety , and double the risk of schizophrenia , in addition to more loneliness, isolation and stress. (click here for more detail).
January 31, 2020 - Another study of Chinese adults ages 65 and older, based on CHARLS data, showed that living in urban areas later in life is associated with better initial cognitive status but a faster rate of cognitive decline .  The researchers argue that faster cognitive decline in cities may be linked to higher levels of population density and “ constricted life space ,” high housing costs , and the high cost of food and health services , among other factors.