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The (re)population of rural areas



In a word...
by Yves Champetier, Director, LEADER European Observatory


New inhabitants in the countryside: helping people make the move
Many rural areas are witnessing population decline and an ageing of their population. But city dwellers are also showing renewed interest in moving to these areas. Across Europe, rural areas are coming up with all kinds of ways to cope with the arrival of these newcomers.


(Re)populating Leitrim and North-Roscommon (Ireland): a matter of quality of life
From housing assistance to the renovation of a cinema, from the development of recreational areas and the creation of new services and activities, a wide range of means is being used to encourage people to resettle in the least populated part of Ireland. LEADER is playing a key role in this effort.

  • The Irish Way to Rural Resettlement
    The success of Rural Resettlement Ireland, an association that helps disadvantaged families in the cities move to the country, has prompted the Irish government to launch a pilot programme to deepen the experience and extend it to other segments of the population. Nine rural areas, all covered by LEADER, are concerned.


Neo-ruralites bring relief
With the accelerated expansion of the service sector, young people are no longer finding the Portuguese countryside attractive, preferring instead to be in the city and not some village. They are interested in service jobs that pay a steady wage rather than seasonal work on a farm or self-employment in a craft. In contrast to this trend, a whole category of former “urbanites” - from Portugal and especially Northern Europe - are finding their “place in the sun” in the hinterland of certain regions, bringing genuine relief to rural areas. Here the spotlight is on some of the (neo-)rural entrepreneurs from the LEADER areas of Entre Lousă e Zęzere (Centro) and Sudoeste (Algarve/Alentejo).

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