IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Migration as opportunity for rural regions

Listed author(s):
  • Wibke Strahl


  • Ingrid Machold
  • Thomas Dax

In spite of an unbroken interest of migrants for metropolitan areas and cities, the immigration of foreign people into rural, and as well peripheral, regions of Austria increasingly receives attention over recent years. Actually, 21% of the population of foreign origin live in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. In more and more peripheral regions population losses caused by a low birth rate and a negative internal migration can be significantly reduced by a positive external (i.e. international) migration balance. These demographic changes lead also to an increase in the diversity of society of rural regions. Many analysts underpin the additional potential provided through a multi-cultural society resulting in new ideas and innovative activities for regional policy, in addition to the more popular concerns for adaptation and integration challenges. This paper draws from a national project on international migration processes and their impact on rural regions of Austria, providing an analysis of statistical data of internal and external migration flows, changes in the demographic structure, and differentiation of migrants according to their countries of origin for the period 2002-2010. The analysis is carried out at the regional level of NUTS 3 and uses the up-dated EU-Commission’s classification based on the OECD typology (Dijkstra and Poelman 2008). Furthermore, the paper will offer initial insights into empirical data about the motivation of immigrants to settle in rural regions and their functions within local communities. Thus, the paper focuses on the assessment of development opportunities for rural regions which are characterized by shrinking processes and the related challenges in terms of maintaining services of general interests, which could benefit from migration processes. The regional manifestations of these migration processes are systematically analysed so as to filter out so-called migration “hot spots†in Austrian rural regions. On this basis two case study regions were selected for empirical investigations about motives, challenges and socio-economic impacts of immigrants on remote rural areas. Information, gained primarily by face-to-face interviews and focus groups conversations both among migrants and the host society itself, and case studies from the current implementation of the key activity “diversity and space†of the new Austrian Spatial Development Concept (ÖREK 2011) will be presented.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa12p297.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p297
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Peter Huber & Gabriele Tondl, 2012. "Migration and regional convergence in the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 439-460, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p297. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.