It may be a stereotype to say that conservatives prefer suburban McMansions while liberals like urban enclaves, but it’s one that is grounded in reality, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

The report, “Political Polarization and the American Public,” found that liberals and conservatives differ on more than just politics. Given the choice, three-quarters of those who consistently express conservative views say they would opt to live in a community where “the houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away,” and just 22 percent say they’d choose to live where “the houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are within walking distance,” Pew said.

Meanwhile, among those who consistently express liberal views, 77 percent would prefer a smaller house in a walkable neighborhood and 21 percent would choose a larger home further away from amenities.

Americans overall are divided nearly evenly on this question with 49 percent preferring the larger houses and 48 percent preferring the more convenient locations, Pew said.

Liberals and conservatives do have some community preferences in common — both groups overwhelmingly say it is important that they live near family, high-quality public schools, and access to the outdoors for hiking, fishing and camping.

Liberals, Conservatives Agree on Importance of Living Near Family, Good Schools and the Outdoors

But liberals say they would rather live in cities, and conservatives prefer rural areas and small towns. And both groups vote with their feet — liberals concentrate in urban areas while conservatives are more likely to live in rural areas. No group expressed a clear preference for living in the suburbs.

What each group considered important in a community also varied by political ideology. Nearly three-fourths of consistent liberals said it was important to them to live near art museums and theaters, compared with just 23 percent of consistent conservatives.

Consistent liberals were more likely to say racial and ethnic diversity is important in a community than consistent conservatives: 76 percent vs. 20 percent.

Consistent conservatives were more likely to emphasize living near others of the same religious faith compared to consistent liberals: 57 percent vs. 17 percent.

Ethnic Diversity More Important for Liberals, Faith Community More Important for Conservatives
Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription