Problem

Individualistic rural resettlement

Other Names:
Anti-social migration to rural areas
Back-to-the-land syndrome
Rural retreat
Nature:
In both the developed and the developing world there are increasing numbers of people returning to rural areas from urban ones.

Many ecologically-minded people in developed countries are moving away from the cities to rural areas to create a lifestyle more in keeping with natural principles. This rediscovery of the rural life is generally not in communication with the rural populace who might benefit from new technologies, nor with urban people looking for new and more creative directions. The result tends to be that certain individuals are able to upgrade the quality of their personal relationship to the environment. Virtuous activity like this is wonderful in its own right, but does nothing whatsoever for concern about the systematic, societal destruction of our common home, the earth. Further, such individualistic schemes confirm the growing suspicion that environmental issues are doomed.

Governments in developing countries have a variety of schemes to encourage and in some cases force people to go to rural, remote and under-populated areas. Most of these plans are attempts to relieve pressures on urban areas because of overpopulation. In some cases, they are attempts to get rid of undesirable groups, like thieves, prostitutes and drug addicts. While in the developed world the people moving back to rural communities are the most successful and most capable of adjusting to rural life, in the developing world it is those least equipped to succeed who are moving to these remote areas.

Incidence:
A 1993 UK survey revealed that one in ten city and suburban dwellers intend to move to the countryside within five years. Another one in five would if they could. Nearly 20% of 15-34-year-olds in the highest socio-economic groupings wanted to move from the cities. This reflects a gradual migration to the country shown in the past two UK censuses. Londoners express the greatest desire to escape, and residents of the large Scottish cities the least.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET