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In search of counterurbanisation: Some evidence from Devon on the relationship between patterns of migration and motivation

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes


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The term counterurbanisation is frequently used to describe the redistribution of a population away from major cities and metropolitan areas and towards more rural areas. The widespread nature of this phenomenon has attracted much attention, yet the concept remains relatively under-developed, and even the basic definition lacks rigour. It is not surprising, therefore, that there has been a lack of cumulative evidence as to the extent of the process and little agreement as to its significance. In essence, ambiguity surrounds the types of movement that should be admitted, the necessary motives for movement and the appropriate measures for both. This paper offers some preliminary suggestions for a more structured approach to the problem. It draws on original survey data from Devon, a county which has experienced substantial net in-migration, both to examine the contribution of three alternative definitions of counterurbanisation and to consider how these issues relate to motivation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Halliday J, Coombes MG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rural Studies

Year: 1995

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Pages: 433-446

Print publication date: 10/11/1999

ISSN (print): 0743-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1392


DOI: 10.1016/0743-0167(95)00032-1


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