Architects of change | TV Program | Economics of taste
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Jean-Guy HENCKEL

Issue / Rural Employment

As more and more people leave the countryside to live in urban areas, the lack of employment in rural areas has become a very alarming problem. For the people who live there, finding stable, well-paying and interesting work is a common challenge. In many European countries, it is estimated that people who live in rural areas earn about half of the average income of their more urban counterparts.

The younger generation does not seem to be attracted by country life — centred mainly on farming and all that it involves — and flock to the cities and the modern lifestyles they offer. The result is that the average age of rural populations is increasing, creating a demographic imbalance. To revitalize the rural economy, it is essential to focus on the agrarian values that are at the core of the history and heritage of many small communities.