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Supposing someone is struggling to pay the rent in an urban area, and they don't have anything tying them down to any one place, would it make sense to move to a rural area where the rent is much lower? Or are cities generally better for low-income people because of the services like food banks, etc.?

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It depends not just on the cost of living, but on the available means of income (wages) relative to each location. Rural areas may have cheaper rent, but they often have fewer employment opportunities. The right balance will often depend on the skills/qualifications of the individual.

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