I can't speak for others, so, despite the fact that I have lived in and enjoy living in the city, it's simply... not worth it.
A 2 hour daily commute (two way, walking and subway for me) just... really isn't that bad - it forces me to spend a portion of the day outside, and I get a lot of work done during the commute. If anything, it's probably good for me. It means the place I live is twice as big for half the price. It means we don't have to rent a parking space somewhere. It means we can grow our own food in the garden, which may not save any money but is immensely enjoyable. It means I get to live with TREES. And not bullshit city-park trees, which skeeve me out so much I avoid most city parks like the plague, but real trees. I get to have moss, and ferns, and a hammock, and barbecues, and except for the last one, I've spent time with all of those every day since summer began.
It means I don't have to wait to use the washer/dryer, it means I can wake to the birdsong, it means I DON'T have to listen to the constant sounds of traffic outside the window. It means I can not only get to know my neighbours, but expect them to stick around for years, maybe decades. It means I don't have to listen to the people upstairs having a party late at night. It means the people down stairs don't have to listen to me.
It lets me have fires. By god do I love having fires.
Most of all, it means I get to feel a sense of pride and responsibility for where I live. It is mine, and I can do things that make it better, make it fit me more, and there is no one that can or will complain. I cannot be kicked out just because the landlord found someone willing to pay more money. It is a home, instead of a place where I live.
And you can't really understand why people would prefer that
And those are just the intangibles. Average classroom size in NYC, ~24 students per teacher. Average classroom size in my school district on Long Island, 13. Where do the kids run to practice track/cross country/sports in the city? Out here we would run to the water and along the beaches, or following the train tracks through the woods. The commute isn't as bad as people say anyway, as long as you leave with enough time to get to work w/ accidents/police activity, driving isn't stressful. My commute is 25 minutes each way. I still have a deli that is 3 minutes away, supermarkets 5 minutes away, theater's 15 minutes... when I would visit my ex in the city we spent more time travelling then when we would hang out out in the suburbs.
Furthermore, aren't there extra city taxes on your income? (At least NYC vs Long Island)