Migration intentions of rural youth in the Westhoek, Flanders, Belgium and the Veenkolonien, The Netherlands

Frans Thissen*, Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, Dirk Strijker, Tialda Haartsen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

83 Citaten (Scopus)


'Should I stay or should I leave my home region?' is one of the key life course questions that many young people must address as they grow to maturity. Social mobility increasingly presupposes geographical mobility, especially in rural areas. The consequences of the selective out-migration of socially mobile young people ('brain drain') are seen as a threat to the economic development and reputation of rural areas. The out-migration of young rural people is often related to participation in higher education and entrance into the labour market. This paper focuses on the migration intentions of pupils in secondary education in two peripheral rural areas: The Westhoek in Flanders. Belgium and the Veenkolonien in the Netherlands. It analyses, by means of logistic regression analysis, the migration intentions of 611 pupils in the Westhoek and 294 pupils in the Veenkolonien in relation to their social background, migration history, perceptions of employment opportunities and the way they identify with their home region. In both regions, perceived employment opportunities and local attachment appear to be the most important factors explaining migration intentions. In the Veenkolonien, in contrast with the Westhoek, migration history, educational level and representations of the region are also important factors determining the migration intentions of young people. These results can be explained by differences in the structure, culture and landscape of the two regions. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)428-436
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftJournal of Rural Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - okt-2010

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