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State of the Countryside 2007: Is rural England facing a future without young people?
Today we're launching this year's State of the Countryside report, giving the latest definitive picture of rural England.
This year's report shows there are now nearly 400,000 fewer young people aged 15-29 in rural areas than just twenty years ago, contributing significantly to a rural demographic which is both older and ageing faster than urban areas.
The report also shows:
- that rural areas experienced over 200% growth in the number of migrant workers in the last three years
- the average rural household spent nearly £480 per week in 2005, £60 per week higher than was paid by the average urban household
- that just 44% of households in sparse isolated rural areas are within easy reach of a GP
- a near doubling of energy crops in the last year
- that due to the changing climate there are now nearly 400 vineyards in England and Wales
"The State of the Countryside 2007 is an important contribution to what I am keen to ensure is an informed, evidence-based and forward thinking debate on the needs of our rural communities. It will also help to raise further the profile of rural issues in policy making and delivery of services across government. I am committed to working with the Commission for Rural Communities to achieve a sustainable future for rural people." - Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Rural Affairs
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