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Your views: Where in Sweden would you rather live? City or countryside?

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Your views: Where in Sweden would you rather live? City or countryside?
Photos: Ryhor/Depositphotos and peter77/Depositphotos
13:22 CET+01:00
Reader polls indicate that the decision of where to settle in Sweden is no easy choice.
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With Sweden consistently ranking near the top in almost every country comparison out there – from the best country for women to the most reputable nation in the world and the best country for immigrants, to name just a few recent examples – the Nordic nation is certainly a desirable place to live. 
 
But where within Sweden is the best place to put down roots? Is it in the bustling capital of Stockholm, the thriving cities of Gothenburg and Malmö, or the more tranquil environs of the countryside or even in the remote north? 
 
That was the question we posed to readers earlier this month on Facebook and Twitter. We asked you to choose between the city and the countryside and it turns out it was quite a difficult choice. 
 
Over 500 votes came in on Facebook and the result was an even 50/50 split with 261 readers casting their vote for city life and another 261 preferring the countryside. 
 
 
While the votes were evenly split, those who took the time to comment favoured the countryside. Maybe it's all the extra time the more laid-back lifestyle affords. 
 
"I proudly live in the countryside of Sweden in Laponia. Right now I would never [go back to] living in a city," wrote Luigi Bozzolan, who originally hails from Rome. 
 
For Paul Ellison, apparently nothing would get him to swap out his country home for city life. 
 
"We live in the countryside. Wouldn't move back to the city even if I was offered a free apartment," he wrote. 
 
Several other long-time countryside residents chimed in to say they wouldn't dream of moving to a Swedish city, with Facebook user Rovi Rovshan Taghiyev saying that even after seven years "it still feels awesome, especially for the kids".
 
Of course, as the dead heat would suggest, the comments weren't all in favour of country living. 
 
"I live in the countryside in Sweden, hate it here, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, miles from shops, doctors etc, stuck when there is too much snow etc," wrote Su Eriksson. 
 
"I think Sweden is too quiet to be living [in the] countryside. At least I wouldn't like to live in countryside all alone by myself," Farwa Naqvi wrote. 
 
But perhaps reader Ann Van Grunderbeeck summed up the split results best with her comment: "Everywhere as long [as] it is in Sweden!"
Over on Twitter, cities were the choice of 57 percent of poll respondents. A few readers pointed out that even in an urban environment, there is still plenty of natural beauty. 
Twitter user @BearPresident, who represented the 43 percent of respondents who would opt for the countryside, said living surrounded by nature can provide "life-changing experiences".
Earlier this month, when The Local first explored the city vs country dynamic, we spoke to two international readers who swapped the former for the latter. Michael Jones told us his move from Gothenburg to outside of Trollhätten two years ago "was the best move I ever made".
 
Originally drawn to the countryside for the affordable housing, he found some unexpected benefits of his new home. 
 
"I find the people here are a lot more friendly and open than in the city. There's a lot more community involvement, so for example attending dinners is much easier," Jones said. "I still leave my car unlocked and my house doors open."
 
Fellow expat Irina Banciu also left the city for the countryside, but she discovered that rural Skåne felt too "isolated" and that it was "impossible" to establish a social life. She and her partner ultimately decided to move back to Copenhagen. 
 
"Although it is lovely to have the space and forests on your doorstep, we decided we were not at the stage in our life where we could make the most of this," Banciu said. "But we will always miss the big garden in the summer, not having to live by other people's rules, and the beautiful nature."
 
According to some readers, the ultimate answer to the question of where to live in Sweden is to combine the best of both worlds. 
 
"Winter in the city, summer in the countryside!" Shirley Hoffstedt wrote on Facebook. 
 
While that sounds lovely, it also sounds expensive. Perhaps Twitter user @lzuelanna has a more practical solution. 
 
"I prefer stores, post office, variation of take-out restaurants and other essential things to be within 30 min walking distance. But that doesn't mean I need a big city. Any medium-small sized city can provide that. As well as nature/countryside within 30 min walking distance!," she wrote.  

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