Beyond the (im)mobility and social-environmental dichotomy: Young adults' motives to reside in rural northwest Europe

Henk Hofstede*, Koen Salemink, Tialda Haartsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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In line with the increased attention for residential experiences of young adults in rural areas, this paper explores the diversity of residential motives and combines them into overarching residential orientations. Based on survey data, we distinguish five residential orientations on rural identity, family, livability, housing and employment. These orientations are analysed on the basis of residential history, expectation to stay, agency about residential choices and sociodemographics of young adults. This paper finds that most of the young adults have the expectation to stay in their rural home region for the rest of their lives or at least for the upcoming 10 years. In addition, most of them experience a free choice to reside in their rural home areas. Young adults possess five residential orientations which do not differ much with regard to residential history and the expectation to stay. Nevertheless, whereas the family residential orientation is the most general orientation among young adults, the rural identity residential orientation stands out with specific characteristics among young adults. A stronger rural identity orientation is most likely among independent young adults who experience agency in their residential choice and who expect to stay in the study areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7-Nov-2022

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