Identifying the problem – the evidence is clear

The rural population has increased by 800,000 over the past ten years. Government forecasts predict that that the rural population will grow by 16% by 2028 compared to 9% in urban areas.

The number of over 65s in rural areas is rising 2.5 times faster than in urban areas.

The number of 20-34 yr olds living with parents has increased by a quarter in the last 20 years to over 3.3 Million.

Household sizes are falling. Over half of all homes in rural areas are under- occupied.

It is not just housing – there is a higher proportion of small/micro businesses, self-employed and home based working in rural areas. At least twice as many (between 17 to 31%) rural working residents work from home compared with urban areas (8%).