Out in the countryside, a simpler life still prevails; a Pew Social & Demographic Trends survey finds that rural residents are less likely than those who live either in the city or the suburbs to view many on a list of 14 widely held consumer items — ranging from cars to iPods — as necesssary to comfort and convenience in their daily lives. Of people living in rural areas, fully a third say just zero to five of these items are necessities, compared with 23% of those in cities and 24% of those in suburbs. This difference holds even after controlling for income and internet use. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.