Rural Youth and the Challenge of Stay or Leave: A Case Study of Rural Areas of East Azerbaijan Province (Iran)

Valiollah Rostamalizadeh, National Population Studies & Comprehensive Management Institute (Iran)
Masoud Saliani, Administrative and Recruitment Organization (Iran)

Nowadays, one of the most important issues facing Iranian villages is the outflow of young population from villages. Census statistics shows that Iranian rural population has declined from 68.5% (1961) to 29% (2011) over the past half-century. Most importantly, in the last decade (1996-2006) more than 50% of migrants were younger people in the age group 15-29 years. The aim of this research, thus, is to examine what people tend to consider in their plans to leave or stay in their home place. The survey method was used in this study. The study population consists of 15-30 years old rural youth of Osku and Hashtrud districts, East Azerbaijan province. The sample size was 800. Young people living in rural areas of Osku and Hashtrud districts were studied through multi-stage cluster sampling. The results indicate that social and economic factors such as education, income, employment, marital status, housing, living status and having migrant people in the family have an important role in the likelihood of leaving or staying. Analytical results of this study also show that the quality of life, satisfaction with life, attachment to place, investment and a sense of responsibility can contribute to the staying of rural youth.

Presented in Session 1234: Internal Migration and Urbanization