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Depopulating small settlements

August 11th, 2015

A centrist commentator blames decision makers for not even trying to address the frightening “free fall” in the number of inhabitants in rural areas.

In Világgazdaság, József Hornyák does not find it surprising that Hungary’s smallest village, Iborfia only retains 8 inhabitants. There are no jobs, no schools, no general practitioners anywhere near nor are public transport services available several times a day. If people feel it is impossible to satisfy their most basic needs, they will inevitably leave – it is only a matter of time. The problem is that Iborfia is not a lone case. Hundreds of villages with fewer than 500 inhabitants and even small rural towns are the main losers of the demographic downturn as well as of national and international migration. Hungary has not yet found an answer to these threatening trends, Hornyák warns, “and has not even tried”, although the progressive spontaneous depopulation of thousands of settlements should deliver a frightening message to the decision makers.