Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
But why did all those people shed their local origins to join the "Big City" ?

One of the great dilemmas for rural communities, at least in my country, has always been the great brain drain to the cities.  The general decline in the agrarian economies has meant diminished opportunities for young people.  At the same time, the lure of (at least perceived) greater opportunities in industrial or professional careers in urban centers has led many if not most rural youth to move away.  And it always seems that the best and brightest are the most likely to go.  

My job used to involve a lot of driving, all across western and southern Oklahoma.  A common and depressing aspect of that was the many, many small towns in rural Oklahoma that were and are in obvious decline.  Closed businesses, abandoned or poorly maintained housing, general signs of neglect and decline were all too common.  On the other hand, the larger urban centers of the state like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, are thriving.  New business activity and new housing developments are the rule in all of our larger urban centers.  The contrast with rural areas is striking.

Over time it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.  As more and more of the younger generation moves away, general economic activity declines, resulting in further diminished opportunities for those who stay.  That seemingly inexorable trend has been a reality for most rural communities for a couple of generations now, at least, and probably much longer than that.

I suspect that none of the above is unique to my country or my state.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 03:22:39 PM EST
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