Counterurbanisation is often conceptualised as urban, middle-class movers attracted by an idyllic rural setting. However, knowing that rural areas differ in their popularity for living, we argue that more attention is required to the diversity of rural in-migration within countries. We do so by comparing the characteristics, motivations, and values of movers to popular and less-popular areas in the northern Netherlands using multivariate analysis on survey data (N=1,717). In contrast to earlier studies, we focus on the motivations for choosing the destination area instead of mixing those with motives for leaving. We also included residential history and values in our analysis. The differences between movers to the two types of areas appear to be less distinct than indicated by previous studies. Although popular areas more often attract middle-class movers, both areas attract urban movers. Movers to less-popular areas are more often motivated by low house prices and moving in with a partner, but movers to popular areas also mention instrumental considerations related to work and location. While the physical aspects of the environment are important to moving to popular areas, social aspects are more important to moving to less-popular areas. We find that values add to our understanding of counterurbanisation. It is not possible to relate two distinct groups of movers directly to different types of rural areas within countries. Future research into rural migration should be careful not to use too simplified understandings of counterurbanisation, both in general and with regard to different types of rural areas. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.