The phenomenon of rural depopulation in the Swedish landscape : Turning the trends
Abstract: The objective of the study at hand is to explore the phenomenon of rural depopulation and more specifically to find out what are the methods that a region can apply in order to reverse it. Rural depopulation is a phenomenon that started taking place at the beginning of the century in Sweden. Lately the interest about urbanization and how to deal with it has increased tremendously, thus rural population decline was neglected. Some researchers though identified the problematic situation and the threats behind the phenomenon. The present paper focuses on Sweden, a country which is one of the most sparsely populated in Europe and where the phenomenon is also observed. Even though the overall population of the country keeps increasing, the number of inhabitants residing in certain peripheral municipalities decreases. The fact that Sweden experienced a significant influx of immigrants and asylum seekers during the last years doesn’t seem to have worked in an alleviating way for rural areas. As argued by previous researchers, this particular group could be a rejuvenating source for depopulated regions. Nevertheless the aforementioned group also seems to prefer relocating to the bigger centers due to better job opportunities. Starting from a research-based view the present paper will attempt to list the patterns advocating why people choose to move, and most importantly study the different initiatives that municipalities can follow in order to turn this trend that rural areas have to encounter.
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