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“The new love of the land is here”: people in Germany are increasingly drawn to villages and small towns


For a long time, the rule in Germany was: Cities are growing, the rural population is shrinking. According to a new study, however, more and more people are now discovering the advantages of village life - especially families.

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Village idyll (in the Bavarian Krün): »People also move to remote regions«


Angelika Warmuth/ dpa

People in Germany are increasingly drawn to the countryside.

"The new desire to live in the countryside is here and it can also be traced in the migration statistics," said Catherine Hinz, executive director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development on Tuesday in Berlin.

The occasion was the presentation of a study on migration in Germany.

"The new love of the land didn't just begin with the corona pandemic," said Hinz.

She had hinted at it before and picked up speed in 2017.

Corona has strengthened the trend again.

"During the lockdown, many people felt the desire for more freedom, space and proximity to nature," says the study.

»The current data point to a trend reversal.

Villages and small towns are clearly among the migration winners today compared to the late 2000s.

And they also benefit from the lack of attractiveness of the big cities, which have become more and more crowded and expensive in recent years," explains Frederick Sixtus, Project Coordinator Demography Germany.

The location of small communities hardly plays a role anymore.

"People no longer move primarily to the suburbs of large cities, but also to remote regions," says the researcher Sixtus.

According to the study, it is mainly families with underage children who ensure that remote regions throughout Germany are revived.

Work-related reasons mean that people are now leaving larger cities and moving to rural areas.

That was different in the late 2000s.

At that time, the more rural the area, the more professional migration.

"We also see another trend, namely that people are at home in both worlds, in town and village, at the same time," adds Manuel Slupina from the Wüstenrot Foundation involved.

These people took advantage of the possibilities of working from anywhere and various offers picked up on this trend.

At the end of the 2000s, it was mainly the large cities that were gaining residents.

In the meantime, the migration activity is largely balanced.

The scientists have compared the migration events in Germany from 2008 to 2010 with the period from 2018 to 2020.

In the period from 2008 to 2010, only 28 percent of the rural communities were able to record an increase in residents due to immigration, ten years later it was 63 percent of the rural communities.

According to the study, net migration in the major cities has been falling since 2017.

The 18 to 24-year-olds, who are still drawn to the cities mainly because of the educational and cultural opportunities, are less fond of the countryside.

Some communities are shrinking despite immigration

However, immigration does not mean growth at the same time.

The high death rate often cannot be compensated for and the communities are shrinking anyway.

Of the approximately 3,500 municipal associations and unitary municipalities that recorded migration gains between 2018 and 2020, about a third lost residents overall.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-06-28

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