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Where do we want to live?

According to a recent study, small and medium-sized towns are in vogue.

According to a recent study, small and medium-sized towns are in vogue.
© dpa

City life is trendy. Still, it draws people not only to the metropolises of millions, but also to medium and small towns, and in part to the edges of the metropolises. In rural areas, on the other hand, the exodus continues, albeit at a relatively low level. Particularly affected are structurally weak regions beyond urban densification. This is the result of the study “Trend Re-Urbanization?” by the Institute for Regional and Urban Development Research (ILS) commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

According to the study, Bad Neustadt an der Saale in Bavaria, East Frisian Aurich in Lower Saxony, Güstrow in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Heide in Schleswig-Holstein are among the small and medium-sized towns with particularly significant growth. Looking closely at migration movements, it became clear that the influx came mainly from “large cities” with more than 500,000 inhabitants. The report from Gütersloh speaks of “overflow effects” and a move into adjacent “suburbs”.

Even though rural areas as a whole are losing more and more inhabitants, this process is “rather creeping”. At the same time, there is a plus for many municipalities in rural areas, said project manager Petra Klug. Examples: Finsterwalde in southern Brandenburg, Eschwege in northeastern Hesse, Hildburghausen in Thuringia and Parchim in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. This growth trend is quite clear, she said, and could also have an economic background such as a stable middle class.

What overall causes does the Bertelsmann Foundation see for the movements? There is a whole range, said Brigitte Mohn, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Change of job, too little affordable housing in the big cities, personal life models. Age also plays a role. If younger people between the ages of 18 and 25 are more likely to study or train in the big city, families and older people aged 65 and over prefer small and medium-sized cities.

With material from dpa; translation: