New villagers: motives and factors for moving from urban to rural areas

Cover Page

Cite item


In developed countries, along with urbanization, the opposite process - ruralization or deurbanization - is becoming increasingly noticeable. Ruralization is not only the movement of townspeople to the countryside, but also the development of villages and the increasing importance of rural areas as a place to live and work. Townspeople make the decision to move by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of living in urban and rural areas, and non-economic motives (the desire to get closer to nature, to find one’s roots, to live in silence, without haste, to eat natural products, etc.) play an important role in this decision. Among economic motives, the difference in the cost of urban and rural real estate and of life in general is the most important motive, i.e., families, especially young and large, can improve their living conditions by moving to the countryside. The study, the results of which are presented in the article, aimed at identifying those groups of townspeople that tend to resettlement, their motives, and factors pushing people to leave cities and facilitating/hindering resettlement to rural areas. The research is based on the study of special literature on the topic and on the data of the survey of resettled townspeople and experts in ruralization. Unlike most publications on ruralization, the author focuses on the positive aspects of the resettlement of townspeople to the countryside and insists on the removal of administrative barriers that prevent ruralization, because the resettlement of townspeople to the countryside does not have a negative impact on the city and is compensated by the influx of people from the countryside, who want to get education or a new profession.

About the authors

L. A. Ovchintseva

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.

кандидат экономических наук, ведущий научный сотрудник Центра аграрных исследований

Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia


  1. Averkieva K.V., Antonov E.V., Kirillov P.L. et al. Mezdu domom i …domom. Vozrasnaya prostranstvennya mobilnost naseleniya Rossii [Between Home and …Home. Age Spatial Mobility of the Russian Population]. Moscow; 2016. (In Russ.).
  2. Averkieva K.V., Baskin L.M., Drozdov A.V. et al. Oikumena Blizhnego Severa Rossii [Oikumene of the Russian Near North]. Pod. red. N.E. Pokrovskogo, T.G. Nefedovoy. Moscow; 2016. (In Russ.).
  3. Bozhkov O.B. Trotsuk I.V. Postsovetsky fermersky internatsional v selskom khozyaystve Severo-Zapadnogo regiona [Post-Soviet farmers’ international in the agriculture of the North-West Region]. Russian Peasant Studies. 2020; 5 (4). (In Russ.).
  4. Bozhkov O.B., Trotsuk I.V. Tendentsii razvitiya selskikh rayonov Rossii: postanovka issledovatelskoy zadachi i pervye rezultaty povtornogo keys-stadi [Tendencies of the Russian rural areas development: The research task and first results of the comparative case-study]. RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2018; 18 (4). (In Russ.).
  5. Vinogradskaya O.Ya. Ot-chego gorozhane edut v derevnyu: fenomenologiya i praktika [Why and from what townspeople move to the village: Phenomenology and practice]. Russian Peasant Studies. 2019; 4 (3). (In Russ.).
  6. Voinilov Yu.L., Zadorin I.V., Maltseva D.V. et al. Potentsial organizovannoj vnutrennej migratsii “gorod-selo” v Rossii. Stimuly i bariery k kollektivnomu pereseleniyu grazhdan na pustuyushchie territorii [The Potential of the Organized Internal Migration “City-Village” in Russia. Incentives and Barriers to the Collective Resettlement of Townspeople to Empty Areas]. Moscow; 2015. (In Russ.).
  7. Voinilov Yu.L, Maltseva D.V. Iz goroda v selo: potentsial pereseleniya gorozhan v selskuyu mestnost [From the city to the village: The potential of townspeople’ movement to the countryside]. XVII Aprelskaya mezhdunarodnaya nauchnaya konferentsiya po problemam razvitiya ekonomiki i obshchestva. Pod. red. E.G. Yasina. Moscow; 2017. Vol. 4. (In Russ.).
  8. Denisenko M.B., Denisenko G.M., Efremenko D.V. et al. Gorozhane v derevne: sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya v rossijskoj glubinke: dezurbanizatsiya i selsko-gorodskie soobshchestva [Townspeople in the Village: Sociological Research in the Russian Hinterland: Deurbanization and Rural-Urban Communities]. Pod red. V.I. Il’yna, N.E. Pokrovskogo. Moscow; 2016. (In Russ.).
  9. Zvyagintsev V.N., Neuvazhaeva M.A. Pereselentsy iz goroda v selskuyu mestnost: fenomen “obratnoy migratsii” v sovremennoy Rossii [Migration from urban to rural areas: The phenomenon of “return migration” in contemporary Russia. Mir Rossii. 2015; 1. (In Russ.).
  10. Nasibullin R.T. Migratsiya iz goroda v derevnyu [Migration from urban to rural areas]. Sociologicheskie Issledovaniya. 1990; 3. (In Russ.).
  11. Nefedova T.G. Desyat actualnykh voprosov o selskoy Rossii: otvety geographa [Ten Actual Questions about Rural Russia: Answers of a Geographer]. Moscow; 2013. (In Russ.).
  12. Nefedova T.G. Kontrasty sotsialno-ekonomicheskogo prostranstva v tsentre Rossii i ikh evolyutsiya: dva “razreza”-profilya [Contrasts of the social-economic space in the center of Russia and their evolution: Two cross-section cases]. Regionalnye Issledovaniya. 2020; 2. (In Russ.).
  13. Nefedova T.G. Polyarizatsiya sotsialno-ekonomicheskogo prostranstva i perspektivy selskoy mestnosti v staroosvoyennykh regionakh Tsentra Rossii [Polarization of the social-economic space and prospects of rural areas in the old-developed regions of Central Russia]. Russian Peasant Studies. 2021; 6 (1).
  14. Pavlov A. Ruralizatsiya: sushchnost, proyavleniya, klassifikatsiya [Ruralization: essence, manifestations, classification]. Nauka i Innovatsii. 2017; 12. (In Russ.).
  15. Pokrovsky N.E, Nikolaeva U.G, Demidova Ju.A. Fenomenologiya “zhiznennogo mira” gorozhanina vo vnegorodskom prostranstve Blizhnego Severa: dom i domestikatsiya [Phenomenology of the “life world” of urbanites in the extra-urban space in the Near North: The house and domestication. Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniya. 2019; 12. (In Russ.).
  16. Trotsuk I.V. Sotsialnye aspekty rossiyskoy geografii: novy vitok nablyudeniy za transformatsiyami mezhstolichnogo prostranstva [Social aspects of Russian geography: A new round of the studies of the space transformations between two Russian capitals]. RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016; 16 (4). (In Russ.).
  17. Bauer G., Roux J.-M. La rurbanization ou la ville éparpillée. Paris; 1976.
  18. Berry B. Urbanization and counterurbanization. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 1980; 451 (1).
  19. Erhardt C. Massenflucht aufs Dorf? URL:
  20. Geyer N.P., Geyer H.S. Counterurbanization: South Africa in wider context. Environment and Planning: Economy and Space. 2017; 49 (7).
  21. Hoggart K. Rural migration and counterurbanization in the European periphery: The case of Andalucia. Sociologia Ruralis. 1997; 37 (1).
  22. Kontuly T., Wiard S., Vogelsang R. Counterurbanization in the Federal Republic of Germany. Professional Geographer. 1986; 38 (2).
  23. Krause M. The ruralization of the world. Public Culture. 2013; 25.
  24. Löffler R., Steinicke E. Counterurbanization and its socioeconomic effects in high mountain areas of the Sierra Nevada (California/Nevada). Mountain Research and Development. 2006; 26 (1).
  25. Mitchell C. Making sense of counterurbanization. Journal of Rural Studies. 2004; 5.
  26. Mitchell C. Population growth in rural and small-town Ontario: Metropolitan decentralization or deconcentration. Canadian Journal of Regional Science. 2009; 32 (2).
  27. Mitchell C. Counterurbanization and the growth of Canada’s rural and small-town municipalities: 1996–2001. Canadian Journal of Regional Science. 2008; XXI (1).
  28. Murdoch J. Networks — a new paradigm of rural development? Journal of Rural Studies. 2000; 16.
  29. Nikula J., Kopoteva I. Local development initiatives in the Lake Ladoga Region: Reasons for success and approaches to funding. RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2020; 20 (1).
  30. Paniagua A. Counterurbanization and new social class in rural Spain: The environmental and rural dimension revised. Scottish Geographical Magazine. 2002; 118 (1).
  31. Stockdale A., Findlay A., Short D. The repopulation of rural Scotland: Opportunity and threat. Journal of Rural Studies. 2000; 16 (2).
  32. Weeden S.A. The coronavirus pandemic is pushing Canadians out of cities into the countryside. URL:

Copyright (c) 2021 Ovchintseva L.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies