Moving to a new city can be tough—new surroundings, new people, new daily norms. However, what if you could move to a fictional place? Somewhere more exciting or completely different?
We asked 1,000 people to choose where they would rather live out of seven well-known, fictional cities, towns or lands. The answers they gave actually might surprise you. Here is a detailed break down based on gender, age, and region. Feel free to jump to the section that interests you most, or to the full infographic at the bottom.
Which Fake City was Most Popular Overall?
It turns out most people would love to crawl through a wardrobe into the fictional land of Narnia. The mysterious fantasy world created by C.S. Lewis for his book series, The Chronicles of Narnia, is pure magic. In this exciting land animals can talk, mythical beasts abound and anything can happen!
A surprising amount of people would like to live in Pawnee, the completely average fictional city from the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. Those in the Northeast and females age 25-34 named it as #1, but it came in as a high preference across demographics.
Wonderland from Lewis Carroll’s mystical Alice in Wonderland was universally unpopular with almost every demographic. The only time it didn’t come in last place was with females in general. They would only rather live in Cloud City less, and in females age 45-54 voted it in fourth place.
Male vs. Female City Preferences:
Overall, men preferred the more traditional “manly” cities with Cloud City from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Gotham City from Batman taking the top two spots. Pawnee is third and, the more whimsical lands taking a back seat. Younger men preferred Gotham, while older men preferred Cloud City.
The women chose Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz as their top choice, with Narnia coming in at a close second.
The top spots for women ranked very low on the men’s chart and vice versa.
Fake City Preferences by Age:
It appears Bikini Bottom from Spongebob Squarepants is popular with the younger crowd, as those aged 18-24 showed a preference for the underwater town, followed closely by Narnia. Those surveyed in the 25-34 age range wanted to live in Pawnee, with Gotham City taking second place.
The more mature age groups, those ages 35-44 and 45-54 both showed a strong preference for Emerald City while Bikini Bottom, Gotham City and Wonderland took the last three places in both age groups.
Fake City Preferences by Region:
Most of the South and West preferred Narnia, which is interesting considering the mystical land spent 100 years in permanent winter (under the White Witches tyrannical rule). Emerald City was a favorite in the Midwest, which is where Kansas is located. Perhaps residents long for the excitement and contrast of the Land of Oz. Residents in the Northeast chose Pawnee as their favorite. Set as a city in Indiana, Pawnee isn’t too much of a stretch from a lot of Northeast towns.
One thing we’ve learned from studying the responses to this survey is that people, in general, seem to fall into two groups–those that prefer the magical and mystical, and those that prefer the familiar. Narnia and Pawnee were neck and neck for first and second place, yet they are the places that are the most opposite on the list.
People also preferred nostalgia, as more mature generations gravitated towards Emerald City, while Millennials strongly preferred Spongebob Squarepants, a popular show from their childhood. Parks and Recreation was extremely popular during the time that it aired (from 2009-2015) making it the number one pick for those aged 25-34.
Feel free to share our full infographic below: