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Pros and Cons of Rural Living. Attitudes of Highly Educated Young People About Living in Croatian Rural Areas

Tihana Kuzmić ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za sociologiju, Hrvatska
Bruno Šimac orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za sociologiju, Hrvatska
Tijana Trako Poljak orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za sociologiju, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 5.181 Kb

str. 247-272

preuzimanja: 203



The exodus of young people represents one of the key issues for the survival of Croatian rural
areas in the demographic sense, but also, consequentially, in the economic, social, cultural,
political and every other aspect. The decrease in the number of young people among the rural
population is visible in the senilization of the rural areas, as well as deagrarization, and overall
deruralization, and a continued decline of rural areas as places of life and work. Considering
that the young population is mostly leaving the rural areas because of education and employment,
especially in sectors that employ the higher educated, the aim of this article is to examine
the push and pull factors for returning or moving to the rural areas from the perspective of the
Croatian young higher educated population.
This article brings the results from the quantitative empirical study conducted in 2020 using
the method of online questionnaire on the convenient sample of N=582 students from six
faculties of the University of Zagreb, which encompassed all major scientific and art fields.
The students were asked about their perception of the advantages and disadvantages of living
in rural areas, as well as about their desire for moving or returning to the rural areas after
finishing their education, and the reasons why. They were also asked about specific elements
of infrastructure that were shown in previous research as an important factor in their decision
to return or move to rural areas. Finally, the responses were correlated with their socio-demographic
The results show that 40% of students want to return/move to rural areas, with over half of
students (55%) who come from rural areas, and significantly less those from urban areas, who
prefer to stay in the cities. In order to attract the higher educated young population to rural
areas, the key is to improve communal and traffic infrastructure, as well as provide more opportunities
for them to work in their professions, primarily by enabling better traffic connection
with neighbouring cities in which they plan to work. Regarding work in agriculture, they
feel that financial support, especially for urban young people who do not have family farms
and existing infrastructure to rely on, would make their beginnings in agriculture easier.

Ključne riječi

rural exodus, deagrarization, higher educated young population, Croatian rural areas, rural development

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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