Young people leaving rural areas is about work and prospects
Monday, 11 May 2009 09:52

The National Housing Federation NHF report telling us about migration of younger people from rural areas to towns is no surprise. People have been leaving the countryside or rural areas not just for decades but centuries. This should come as no surprise.

The NHF is a pressure group representing the interests of 1200 housing associations and its first strategic aim is to create conditions where its members can flourish.*

There is little work to be had in rural areas. Farming is increasingly mechanised and controlled by large companies that own the land. In today's farming one man does the work that would have needed an army or workers a century ago.

A parallel can be drawn with domestic service, which was the biggest employer before the first world war. People are no longer needed to cut and tend hedges, milk cows or hoe rows of crops. They have been lured away by easier and better-paid work in the towns, lower cost housing and more amenities.

Rural schools have been closed and facilities withdrawn as cost-saving measures, shops and post offices closed.

The biggest single cause of young people leaving the countryside is work. People need occupation - it's very nice to want to keep them in the country but they need a way to make a living. Until they can earn money there will be nothing to keep them and the drift to the towns will continue - this trend is nothing new.

* source: NHF website

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