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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of standards of living from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Standards of Living

A rise in the standard of living in a country often only seems to benefit cities rather than rural areas.

What problems can this cause?

How might these problems be reduced?

When standards of living increase, it is primarily urban residents, not those in the countryside, who benefit. In my opinion, this can lead to opposite problems related to population density and is best mitigated by governmental action.

Inequality in terms of standard of living engenders population problems for cities and rural regions. Cities have become over-populated in the last century as they offer a wider range of educational, occupational, and recreational options. Elevated population density means that although residents can enjoy a higher standard of living generally, they must also overcome concomitant effects from overcrowding such as more traffic, less sanitary conditions, and higher crime rates. The inverse problem exists outside cities as residents leave and locals struggle to earn a living in sparsely populated towns and villages.

These related problems can best be countered by the authorities. There are various initiatives that could be implemented. One real-world example of this would be in Japan where the government in recent years has addressed dwindling population numbers in the countryside by auctioning off country homes cheaply. Prospective home-owners are often able to buy houses nearly for free if they agree to live and work in a town with few residents. Another possible measure would be for governments to invest more in urban infrastructure. Since migrations to cities are likely inevitable, this is a more pragmatic tactic.

In conclusion, the inverse issues created for rural and urban areas by rising standards of living can be effectively controlled if governments intervene. This issue will only become more pressing as the global middle class continues to grow.

Analysis

1. When standards of living increase, it is primarily urban residents, not those in the countryside, who benefit. 2. In my opinion, this can lead to opposite problems related to population density and is best mitigated by governmental action.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Inequality in terms of standard of living engenders population problems for cities and rural regions. 2. Cities have become over-populated in the last century as they offer a wider range of educational, occupational, and recreational options. 3. Elevated population density means that although residents can enjoy a higher standard of living generally, they must also overcome concomitant effects from overcrowding such as more traffic, less sanitary conditions, and higher crime rates. 4. The inverse problem exists outside cities as residents leave and locals struggle to earn a living in sparsely populated towns and villages.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.

1. These related problems can best be countered by the authorities. 2. There are various initiatives that could be implemented. 3. One real-world example of this would be in Japan where the government in recent years has addressed dwindling population numbers in the countryside by auctioning off country homes cheaply. 4. Prospective home-owners are often able to buy houses nearly for free if they agree to live and work in a town with few residents. 5. Another possible measure would be for governments to invest more in urban infrastructure. 6. Since migrations to cities are likely inevitable, this is a more pragmatic tactic.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. This paragraph can be longer than the other one.

1. In conclusion, the inverse issues created for rural and urban areas by rising standards of living can be effectively controlled if governments intervene. 2. This issue will only become more pressing as the global middle class continues to grow.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

When standards of living increase, it is primarily urban residents, not those in the countryside, who benefit. In my opinion, this can lead to opposite problems related to population density and is best mitigated by governmental action.

Inequality in terms of standard of living engenders population problems for cities and rural regions. Cities have become over-populated in the last century as they offer a wider range of educational, occupational, and recreational options. Elevated population density means that although residents can enjoy a higher standard of living generally, they must also overcome concomitant effects from overcrowding such as more traffic, less sanitary conditions, and higher crime rates. The inverse problem exists outside cities as residents leave and locals struggle to earn a living in sparsely populated towns and villages.

These related problems can best be countered by the authorities. There are various initiatives that could be implemented. One real-world example of this would be in Japan where the government in recent years has addressed dwindling population numbers in the countryside by auctioning off country homes cheaply. Prospective home-owners are often able to buy houses nearly for free if they agree to live and work in a town with few residents. Another possible measure would be for governments to invest more in urban infrastructure. Since migrations to cities are likely inevitable, this is a more pragmatic tactic.

In conclusion, the inverse issues created for rural and urban areas by rising standards of living can be effectively controlled if governments intervene. This issue will only become more pressing as the global middle class continues to grow.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

standards of living how well people live, quality of life

primarily urban residents mostly people living in cities

countryside rural areas, outside cities

benefit aid

lead to opposite problems create inverse issues

related to concerning

population density how many people in an area

best mitigated best dealt with

governmental action nations taking steps

inequality not being equal

in terms of standard of living when it comes to quality of life

engenders creates

rural regions the countryside

over-populated too many people living there

century 100 years

offer allow for

wider range more kinds of

educational related to learning

occupational related to work

recreational options related to free time

elevated population density more people living there

higher standard of living generally living better overall

overcome stronger than

concomitant related, caused by

traffic cars and bikes

less sanitary conditions not clean

higher crime rates more crime

inverse opposite

exists outside cities is in the countryside

locals struggle people living there have a tough time

earn a living make money

sparsely populated towns and villages

countered by fixed by

authorities people in charge

various initiatives different efforts

implemented put into place

one real-world example of this would be an actual instance is

in recent years recently

addressed dwindling population numbers deal with fewer people there

auctioning off selling

cheaply not expensively

prospective home-owners people who want to own homes

agree feel the same way

another possible measure would be for a different fix is

invest put money into

urban infrastructure city roads, buildings, sewage, etc.

migrations people moving

inevitable will of course happen

more pragmatic tactic more realistic strategy

rising standards of living better quality of life

effectively controlled well handled

intervene step in

pressing important

global middle class people earning more money all around the world

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈstændədz ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ˈpraɪmərɪli ˈɜːbən ˈrɛzɪdənts
ˈkʌntrɪˌsaɪd,
ˈbɛnɪfɪt
liːd tuː ˈɒpəzɪt ˈprɒbləmz 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən ˈdɛnsɪti 
bɛst ˈmɪtɪgeɪtɪd 
ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˈækʃ(ə)n
ˌɪni(ː)ˈkwɒlɪti 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ɪnˈʤɛndəz 
ˈrʊərəl ˈriːʤənz
ˈəʊvə-ˈpɒpjʊleɪtɪd 
ˈsɛnʧʊri 
ˈɒfə 
ˈwaɪdə reɪnʤ 
ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl
ˌɒkju(ː)ˈpeɪʃənl 
ˌrɛkrɪˈeɪʃənl ˈɒpʃənz
ˈɛlɪveɪtɪd ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən ˈdɛnsɪti 
ˈhaɪə ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ ˈʤɛnərəli
ˌəʊvəˈkʌm 
kənˈkɒmɪtənt 
ˈtræfɪk
lɛs ˈsænɪtəri kənˈdɪʃənz 
ˈhaɪə kraɪm reɪts 
ɪnˈvɜːs 
ɪgˈzɪsts ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ˈsɪtiz 
ˈləʊkəlz ˈstrʌgl 
ɜːn ə ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ˈspɑːsli ˈpɒpjʊleɪtɪd taʊnz ænd ˈvɪlɪʤɪz
ˈkaʊntəd baɪ 
ɔːˈθɒrɪtiz
ˈveərɪəs ɪˈnɪʃɪətɪvz 
ˈɪmplɪmɛntɪd
wʌn rɪəl-wɜːld ɪgˈzɑːmpl ɒv ðɪs wʊd biː 
ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz 
əˈdrɛst ˈdwɪndlɪŋ ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃən ˈnʌmbəz 
ˈɔːkʃ(ə)nɪŋ ɒf 
ˈʧiːpli
prəsˈpɛktɪv həʊm-ˈəʊnəz 
əˈgriː 
əˈnʌðə ˈpɒsəbl ˈmɛʒə wʊd biː fɔː 
ɪnˈvɛst 
ˈɜːbən ˈɪnfrəˌstrʌkʧə 
maɪˈgreɪʃənz 
ɪnˈɛvɪtəbl
mɔː prægˈmætɪk ˈtæktɪk
ˈraɪzɪŋ ˈstændədz ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 
ɪˈfɛktɪvli kənˈtrəʊld 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈviːn
ˈprɛsɪŋ 
ˈgləʊbəl ˈmɪdl klɑːs 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

When s_____________________g increase, it is p_____________________s, not those in the c_____________e, who b________t. In my opinion, this can l_______o o_______________________________o p________________y and is b________________d by g__________________n.

I_____________y i_____________f s____________________g e____________s population problems for cities and r______________s. Cities have become o_____________d in the last c_________y as they o______r a w________________e of e____________l, o______________l, and r____________________s. E________________________y means that although residents can enjoy a h_________________________y, they must also o__________e c___________t effects from overcrowding such as more t_______c, l_____________________________s, and h__________________s. The i_________e problem e______________________s as residents leave and l__________________e to e_______________g in s__________________________________s.

These related problems can best be c______________y the a_____________s. There are v_____________________s that could be i_______________d. O___________________________________e in Japan where the government i___________________s has a_____________________________________s in the countryside by a_______________f country homes c_________y. P_______________________s are often able to buy houses nearly for free if they a_____e to live and work in a town with few residents. A_______________________________r governments to i______t more in u_____________________e. Since m______________s to cities are likely i_____________e, this is a m____________________c.

In conclusion, the inverse issues created for rural and urban areas by r_______________________g can be e_______________________d if governments i____________e. This issue will only become more p________g as the g____________________s continues to grow.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-cities-with-the-best-quality-of-life-in-the-world-2019-3#10-basel-1

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Cities

  1. Have you ever lived in a city?
  2. What do you enjoy most about living in the city?
  3. Which city would you like to live in in the future?
  4. Do most people in your country live in cities?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

In many cities, problems related to overpopulation are becoming more common. Some governments are now encouraging businesses and individuals to move out of cities to rural areas.

Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?


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