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Rural exodus: More and more Germans are moving to the cities

The phenomenon of rural exodus

For many years, experts have been publishing terrifying forecasts at regular intervals. The German population is not only getting older and there is a lack of skilled workers everywhere. There is also more and more a phenomenon that was believed to have been left behind in times of industrialization: rural exodus.

According to a study by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft based in Cologne, some eastern German regions are already struggling with a population decline of up to twenty percent. But things are not looking rosy in this regard in western Germany either.

Why do people “flee” to the city?

The question now arises as to what the reasons are that more and more people are moving from the countryside to the city. For a long time it was believed to have been observed that predominantly young people give preference to city life. A common motive is education. While still attending school in their rural homeland, many are drawn to study in larger university towns. And entry into professional life also seems to be easier in the metropolises. But in recent years it has also been shown that older people are also leaving the rural idyll to spend their old age in the city. While in the past one of the children usually took over the parental property and thus also the care of the parents, nowadays old people are often dependent on outside help. At the latest when the state of health makes it no longer possible to drive independently, moving will be considered, albeit with a heavy heart.

Life in the city - anonymous but entertaining

Whether for young or old, one thing is certain: city life offers added value in terms of entertainment and leisure activities. Quickly for shopping in the pedestrian zone or in the evening to the cinema, none of this is a problem in the city. In addition, there is inevitably a certain anonymity in the city - for many a piece of freedom.

However, it is precisely this anonymity that scares off others. They need the community, the help among neighbors, the fact that everyone knows each other, like the air we breathe. Speaking of air to breathe: the fresh country air, the smell of freshly mown grass and the nearby cowshed are certainly more appealing to nature lovers than car exhaust and the smoke from industrial chimneys. In urban areas, parks and green spaces invite you to stroll and linger, but the true experience of nature, such as extensive forests and meadows, is missing here.

Flexibility and mobility in the city

A decisive advantage that city life brings with it is mobility. Thanks to the well-developed local transport system, having your own car is almost superfluous, maybe even a nuisance. Garages and own parking spaces are rare, and looking for a parking space every evening can be extremely annoying. As the long-distance bus industry is booming alongside travel by plane or train, the argument that you need your own car for vacation trips is becoming increasingly less important. The only logical consequence is: the car can or must go. Internet platforms for buying a used vehicle are one way of getting rid of it. The data is entered online in advance and the vehicle is then presented to an authorized dealer on site and sold.

The vicious circle of rural exodus

However, it stands to reason that the ongoing rural exodus will have considerable negative consequences. One reason people are moving is the lack of infrastructure. There are not enough buses, the density of the health care network leaves a lot to be desired and the internet connection is also often poor. But all of these problems will increase the fewer people live in rural areas. If an Internet provider does not consider it necessary to lay new lines for 20,000 users, it will certainly not do so for 15,000 potential payers. Similarly, cinemas, swimming pools and other facilities are forced to weigh costs and demand. The infrastructure continues to decrease accordingly, encouraging more people to move - a vicious circle.