- More than 60% of Romanians living in urban areas could imagine moving to the countryside;
- This is a main finding of the Vodafone Institute’s Digitising Europe Pulse, a citizen survey, conducted by Kantar in 15 European countries;
- For 59% of the urban Romanians the pandemic provokes a new perception of country life;
- Advantages of country life predominate for 44% of urban Romanians;
- For 69% of urban Romanians a good internet connection is a must have and by far the number one precondition for a life at the countryside.
The COVID-19 crisis has changed Romanians’ attitude towards living at the countryside: 59% of the surveyed urban Romanians state that the pandemic influenced or changed their opinion on living at the countryside, according to the Digitising Europe Pulse, a new survey commissioned by the Vodafone Institute, and conducted by Kantar, with over 15,000 interviewees from 15 European countries, including Romania.
62% of the surveyed urban Romanians could imagine moving to the countryside in the next one or two years.
Asked about advantages and disadvantages of the country life, 74%, respectively 80% of the surveyed Romanians living in urban areas consider the closeness to nature and its benefits for a healthy lifestyle as the biggest virtues. Only 19% name cheaper rents as a benefit of country life. The advantages of country life predominate for 44% of Romanian urban citizens.
A good internet connection more important than good health infrastructure
The number one precondition for a life at the countryside is by far a good internet connection: 69% of surveyed urban Romanians say it’s a must-have; for 25% it´s a nice to have. This finding is consistent for all European countries.
In fact, reliable internet connection was deemed more important than good health infrastructure, which 54% of surveyed Romanians agreed this is essential, or good public transport which 42% agreed was a ‘must-have’. 46% consider good educational institutions as an essential pre-requisite.
How the EU and governments can realize the potential of rural communities and reinforce rural digitization along the Digital Decade targets is also being analyzed in a new report produced by Deloitte and commissioned by the Vodafone Group, Rural Connectivity Report, that can be accessed here.
Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute, said:
“In light of the experiences of the pandemic, closing the gap between urban and rural life has become even more important in the European Union. As the new Digitising Europe Pulse shows, connectivity is the most necessary precondition for moving to the countryside, which still proves to be insufficient in many countries. With the Digital Decade targets in mind and investments through the Recovery and Resilience Facility directed toward digital transformation, the EU now has a unique opportunity to foster cohesion and improve the quality of life of millions of European citizens.”
An online survey conducted by Kantar of 15,000 citizens from across 15 European countries including: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK. There was a sample size of at least 1,000 interviews per country and all participants were aged 16 years or older. This research was conducted between 05.05.-16.05.2021. The complete report will be available in the upcoming weeks.