Migration in EU Rural Areas
A new report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre analyses migration in rural areas in the EU, shedding light on an under-researched phenomenon. To the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first EU-level quantitative analyses of rural migration.
The report includes a quantitative overview of migration in rural contexts across the EU and looks at the main indicators of the integration of rural migrants working in agriculture. It also describes attitudes towards migrants and perceived importance of migration in rural areas compared to urban settings.
Overall, migrants living in rural areas and working in agriculture tend to experience more challenging integration paths, not only when compared to natives but also to non-natives living in cities and towns.
The importance of successful integration can also be considered in light of the significant contribution that migrants can have in rural contexts. Their fundamental role in sustaining certain types of agricultural production is accompanied by their potential to counter depopulation and aging and to maintain the socio-economic viability of these areas. For these reasons, researchers believe that migrants in rural areas deserve special attention in the design of integration policies.