What Makes An Exurb Different From a Suburb?

Large cities offer a wide range of culture, entertainment and career opportunities. They also deliver congestion and a high-cost living. Maybe that’s why a growing number of people are fleeing the downtown living by choosing suburbs and exurbs. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two types of communities.


For years, people have enjoyed living in the ‘burbs. They are close to major cities and are often described as “a good place to raise a family.” They boast easy access to the city, including public transportation for daily commutes or times when you don’t want the hassle of traffic and parking.
Although suburban professionals may take a train to work, they still usually need a car to get around their ‘burb. People often cite good schools, nice-size yards and a neighborly vibe as other reasons to enjoy the suburbs. Here’s a quick breakdown of a suburb:
  • Right next to a major city
  • Often adjacent to other suburbs (one blends into the other)
  • Some elements of big-city life exist in the suburbs
  • Less expensive than living downtown, but not necessarily cheap


These communities offer many of the same benefits as suburbs, but on a greater scale. Today, we’ve decided that we don’t have to wait for vacation to spend time in places we love. With an increasing ability to work remotely, people no longer have to choose between a thriving career and a chill lifestyle—exurbs make it possible.
Like suburbs, exurbs boast larger homes and yards, but there’s less access to shopping, major entertainment  and hospitals. On the other hand, it’s nice to be minutes away from the beach or mountains. Here’s what you’ll find in an exurb:
  • 50 miles or more away from a major city
  • May be rural or near wooded areas
  • Some exurbs are near the ocean or lakes
  • Minimal public transportation (Yay for Uber!)
  • Could exceed suburban population by 20251
The real estate mantra of “location, location, location” is even more true today than it ever has been. The rise of exurbs and continued popularity of suburbs make it easier for individuals and families to find a home and community. 
- By The Compass Hawaii Team, Dec 18, 2018