In the United States, suburbs typically have the connotation of being more affluent, educated, and middle-class than city neighborhoods. Suburbs are often culturally distinct from the cities they orbit.
In Hong Kong, however, suburbs are mostly government-planned new towns containing numerous public housing estates. New Towns such as Tin Shui Wai may gain notoriety as a slum. However, other new towns also contain private housing estates and low density developments for the upper classes.
In Japan, the construction of suburbs has boomed since the end of World War II and many cities are experiencing the urban sprawl effect.
By 2010, suburbs increasingly gained people in racial minority groups, as many members of minority groups gained better access to education and sought more favorable living conditions compared to inner city areas.
More commonly, central cities seek ways to tax nonresidents working downtown – known as commuter taxes – as property tax bases dwindle. Taken together, these two groups of taxpayers represent a largely untapped source of potential revenue that cities may begin to target more aggressively, particularly if they're struggling. According to struggling cities, this will help bring in a substantial revenue for the city which is a great way to tax the people who make the most use of the highways and repairs.
Today more companies settle down in suburbs because of low property costs.
Suburbs and suburban living have been the subject for a wide variety of films, books, television shows and songs.