Rural Change


Rural Change, figure 1

Property prices are rising in the rural areas around London. This is because counter-urbanisation is occurring.

A recent survey found that 35% of all villages in rural England and Wales had no food shop, 76% had no doctor’s surgery and 85% had no chemist.

As bus services in the countryside have declined, so too have the numbers of schools, hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and shops.

Demand for housing pushes up property prices and means local people may not be able to afford them.

Faced with fewer passengers bus companies are forced to raise fares and reduce the frequency of the service.

Over average, 65% of all households in Britain have regular use of a car. As more people own their own car the demand for bus service declines.

Without public transport, more and longer car journeys increase congestion, air pollution and CO2 emissions.

Villages also lack facilities for teenagers and young adults, with the result that many young people have to travel for their education, entertainment or recreation.

Small village schools are expensive to run. Villagers campaign to keep their school open as many argue that schools are the centre of village social life.


Who would want to move to the countryside around London? e.g. Terling

  • Old people who want to retire - attracted by the idea of a peaceful life in the country.
  • People who work in or near London who want to commute.
  • Maybe young families who want to bring up their children away from the polluted city.


The decline of the traditional primary sector (now only 3%) has left the countryside with few permanent, full-time jobs.

Rural Change, figure 1

Quality of Life

The decline of rural services will impact the quality of life of older people as if there is no healthcare provision, deprivation will increase.

Younger people will also suffer a lower quality of life if education services decline / shut as they will not be able to receive a good quality education in the area.

Rural Change, figure 1

Exam Question

The decline in traditional primary sector jobs has increased unemployment in rural areas, e.g. Terling. It has particularly caused unemployment for unskilled / manual workers.

This means that deprivation increases as the Index of Multiple Deprivation includes income and employment as major factors. This is likely to be young people who cannot find jobs in industries in rural areas.

Explain the challenges of rural deprivation.
Your answer should include: Young / People / Elderly / Depopulation / Unemployment / Services
Explain why employment is a problem for rural areas.
Your answer should include: Primary / Sector / Jobs