How Living in a State Capital Changes Your Sociological Perspective

, Mar 2, 2022

A person sits and thinks while watching the sunset fall over a city.

With 55% of people living in urban areas, it’s clear that most people want to live in a city. Not only is there an increase in job market opportunities, but cities also facilitate a variety of cultures and diverse perspectives. One specific type of urban area that many people dream about living in is the capital cities.

If you’re in the market for buying a new home, consider living in a capital city. All states have one, though some are smaller than others. Living in a state capital will provide you with all of the benefits that come with living in an urban area while also connecting you to your state government and allowing for easier travel.

Sociological Perspective, Defined

Sociology is a field that studies the behaviors and interactions of society as a whole. A sociological perspective analyzes how living in a place will change your human behavior to match those around you.

From a sociological perspective, one finds that their actions are heavily influenced by those surrounding them. Thus, those who live in a state capital are likely to have actions and views that contrast with those in rural areas.

Why This Is Important For Social Change

The purpose of sociology is to understand how society functions. With this knowledge, we can strive for a more conscious and aware population, thus resulting in a better society. Furthermore, it helps us find the best methods for achieving our goals as a whole.

Additionally, actions such as voting, communicating with local officials, and participating in protests or rallies are more accessible to capital city residents. This accessibility can help to increase interest in promoting social change and peace throughout society. Making this knowledge more accessible to the general public provides society with an easier path toward social change.

How Capital Cities Are Sociologically Unique

Capital cities are sociologically complex. They represent the melting pot that is America, as is evidenced by Far & Wide’s list of all of 50 capitals and how they rank. You’ll find everything from small, sleepy towns (Augusta, Maine) to thriving metropolises with vibrant communities (Austin, Texas).

When you look at Far & Wide’s top-ranking capital cities, there are some similarities. Austin, which comes in at number three, has a large and diverse population with the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” The community keeps it “weird” by supporting local businesses and musicians. The other cities in the top three — Boston, MA and Madison, WI — also have large and socially vibrant communities.

Combine a socially conscious population with opportunities to influence the local, state, and federal government, and you have a recipe for uniqueness. Government makes changes that affect everyone and the people influence the government. That’s why you’ll find activists and other change-makers living in capital cities, side by side with a great many other people.

Large Population and Diversity

In those cities that are considered the best capitals, the population is relatively large, especially when you compare it to rural areas. A large population can mean a high level of cultural diversity, as is the case in Austin, where music, tech, art, and culinary cultures are underpinned by a vibrant Latino community. In fact, according to Smithsonian Magazine, Austin’s population is 35% Latino and the famous Pachanga Fest, a Latino music festival, celebrates this diversity.

Social Connectivity

Being able to connect with others is key for anyone promoting social change. In any capital city worth its salt, the socially diverse population is a socially connected community. A larger population such as Austin’s (964,254) allows for more chances to make these connections, leading to a stronger community and greater motivation toward social change.

“If there is any city in Texas that strives to bridge divides, it’s Austin,” says author ZZ Packer, writing for Smithsonian Magazine. “East Austin and South Austin have undergone a renaissance that is half gentrification, half sustainable communities, with a strong locavore movement, community gardens and a new Mexican American Cultural Center.”

With access to some of the best street markets, restaurants, museums and other activities to take part in, people are more likely to become active within their community. This can help them make the necessary changes for a better society.

Government Involvement

While living in a state capital will allow you to have easier access to government facilities, it can also encourage governmental involvement through protests and rallies, as well as volunteer opportunities with political parties.

Since plenty of people in capital cities are politically active, you’re closer to the sources of social change. Communication and political activism help change happen, which can lead to less corruption within the government and better social services.

Choosing To Live in a Capital City

Capital cities are a top choice because of the economic opportunities. Other reasons may be the area’s natural attractions or even historical value.

Austin is a prime example of an area that has taken full advantage of its state capital status to foster social change. It has made improvements in transportation, education, and environmental sustainability, all of which have increased the standard of living for its citizens.

Moreover, living within the capital of your state will allow you to see more than just federal-level politics but also what can be done on a local level. Having this kind of access to your community will allow you to expand your knowledge of social change and promote positive changes throughout society.

Economic Reasons

State capitals can provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with economic opportunities and resources. Not only does this allow them to promote social change in their community, but it also gives them even more experience in doing so.

Moreover, because people are constantly coming in and out of the capital city for official business, there’s a high demand for goods and services.

The increased demand for services and goods will allow businesses to branch out into new industries, increasing their revenue and allowing them to further advocate for social change. Therefore, the economic perks of city living for entrepreneurs and businesses can also help to promote social change.

Job Security

Within capital cities, there are numerous government jobs and opportunities to work with regional agencies, nonprofits, and advocacy groups that are also dedicated to social change.

Moreover, government jobs offer stability due to their integral role and secure funding. Therefore, once you get the job, you are more likely to keep it. Although government jobs may be more competitive than other types of positions, the outcome is well worth it for those who succeed. Landing such a position can benefit you by giving you access to ample resources for social change on a local level.

Social Circles

Living in a state capital will broaden your social horizons and expose you to new people and ideas while you’re also working with people who share your interests. This will also allow you to learn from the experiences of different cultures.

If you’re looking for a place to live if you love music, entertainment, and a social scene filled with like-minded individuals, living in a state capital will give you access to all of the opportunities that come with it.

Better Healthcare

Increased access to healthcare is another perk of living in a state capital. While the government may not be responsible for the direct delivery of healthcare, its economic and social influence can help to improve healthcare.

Moreover, it’s important to live in a city with good healthcare because you may end up needing these services. State capitals typically have more hospitals, doctors, and specialists. This can give you access to better healthcare overall.

Access to New, Healthy Options

The food options near your home affect your health. Therefore, it’s important to live in a place that gives you access to healthy food choices.

State capitals can offer higher quality options when it comes to groceries. This is because the larger number of people in these cities creates a bigger demand for goods and services, which results in a wider variety of stores. These stores will carry foods from different regions or cultures, giving you access to healthier choices.


State capitals are likely to be pet-friendly, especially if the surrounding community is full of families. This is important for pet owners or people who love animals. It can also give you access to outdoor activities like dog parks and pet-friendly restaurants.

The reasons you should live in a pet-friendly city are not just related to pets. It’s also about how they impact your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a place where it’s hard to have dogs, cats, or other animals around, it can be depressing and make it harder for you to lead an active social life with friends and family.

Interest in Political Change

Living in a state capital can also affect the political change you are interested in. This is because these cities are likely to have both liberal and conservative views, making it easier for you to practice your belief system.

Additionally, nearby suburbs can also give you a taste of that life. Moreover, surrounding universities, which often attract young people interested in activism, can also influence your political views.

Ultimately, when you’re deciding where to live, consider all the opportunities that come with living in a state capital. You can learn new skills, make lasting friendships, and improve your quality of life while creating positive change in the world.

About the Author

Last updated: 04/13/2023

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