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Suburgatory is a TV show about a teen girl and her family who move from inner city Manhattan to a outer-suburb (unnamed).

The suburban people are shown as incredibly affluent. Lots of expensive fashion and plastic surgery.

I get the impression from the show that in the US, the most wealthy people live not in the inner city, but out in the suburbs. I'm not sure it this is correct. Is it a fictional component of the show? Is it a exaggeration?

Where I am from, Perth western Australia this is not true at all: (most of) the inner suburbs/CBD are incredibly pricy and (most of) the outer suburbs have a fairly poor reputation (Mostly jokes about the prevalence of alcholism, and/or stabbings). Perth does however have things like the "Hollow City" phenomenon.

  • I don't know the show but NYC suburbs are very varied, covering everything from swanky areas of Westwood NJ, the Five Towns of LI and Scarsdale, but also the lesser economic suburbs like Fort Lee, Yonkers and such. Each area has a good side and a bad side. – rosends Jan 5 '15 at 0:35
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There is a little of both. NYC is an incredibly expensive place to live, where an average apartment runs around $1500/month, up to places that are over $7000/month. You can certainly find one cheaper, but that's about average.

In the suburbs, you can generally find a decent apartment for around $1000/month, depending on where you look.

In the suburbs, you also get what I hold most precious; real estate. There are very few houses in NYC, but in the suburbs they are everywhere.

Also, because things are cheaper in the suburbs, you have a wider range of income makers there. An average couple can afford to pay $700/month in rent in a suburb, whereas they would be really struggling in NYC to pay their bills.

So, it really depends on an individual's preference. In Darien, where I grew up, many large company exec's owned homes because they liked the slower pace, the quieter environment to raise a child, and the better school systems. However, I'm sure there are just as many, if not more, people who enjoy the fast-paced, "Open 24/7" environment of NYC and prefer to live there. The "affluent" suburbs they're probably portraying are towns like Darien, Greenwich and New Canaan, all within an hour of NYC but with average house prices close to $700,000.

  • You say, "Where an average apartment runs around $1500/month." ... I'd venture to assume $1500 would get you a very small apartment or even a studio. I'm just wondering what your criteria is for "average". (And maybe I'm just being nit-picky). +1, none-the-less. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 5 '15 at 16:17
  • I did a quick "craigslist" search and took something low end. I didn't have time to separate the various sections of NYC (i.e. Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, etc...), just figured that if you had $1500/month at your disposal that you should be able to find at least something decent somewhere. There are certainly a plethora of apartments in the $2500/month range on craigslist, but those are usually 2-3 BRs. Once you get into "doorman" buildings, you're up in the $3000 - $4000 range, which is twice what my mortgage is on a 5BR house near the CT/MA border. – Johnny Bones Jan 5 '15 at 17:24

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