Rural Well-being

Geography of Opportunities

image of Rural Well-being

Rural Well-being: Geography of Opportunities presents the latest iteration on this policy framework, reflecting several important changes in rural development in recent years. Fully taking into account the variety of situations characterising rural regions, the new policy framework leverages improved data and analysis while broadening the scope from economic focus to encompass the environmental and social dimensions of well-being. The new approach places the well-being of citizens at the forefront of its objective and recognises the diversity of rural places brought by a deeper understanding of their diverse and complex socio-economic systems and their connection to cities. The framework also looks to the future and unfolding megatrends such as globalisation, digitalisation, climate change and demographic change. It reflects on how these will impact rural economies and reviews policy options to mitigate the challenges and capitalise on opportunities as well as to develop resilience against emerging crises. Finally, recognising the strong interdependencies between different stakeholders and the need for partnerships between government, the private sector and civil society to successfully implement policies, the Rural Well-being Policy Framework focuses on governance mechanisms, including the OECD Principles on Rural Policy.


A roadmap for delivering well-being in rural regions

This chapter outlines long-term trends in socio-economic development in OECD regions, with a focus on the effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the implications of the current COVID-19 crisis. The first section introduces a new way of classifying regions based on their density and access to cities. The second section discusses key demographic trends across rural regions, focusing on distinctive challenges brought about by population losses and ageing. The third section describes the changing economic conditions facing rural regions after the financial crisis and their effects on regional inequality. The chapter closes with a discussion on the role of skills and human capital, Internet connectivity and innovation as enabling factors of regional development.




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