This is Knowlton - where I live today.
150 years ago my great grandfather left the family farm and walked to Montreal - where the jobs and the opportunity were. He was early in the powerful trend from rural to urban. Many think that this trend still continues. In the developing world it does. BUT there is a trickle back now that might become as flood as the Job world dies.
Are you going to be one of these new rurals? In this post you will find the profile. You may find yourself!
This is 30 seconds from the heart of downtown.
We look at trend in the context of where I live - in Knowlton in the Eastern Townships in Quebec - we are an hour's drive from Montreal.
The new rurals are not really a retirement group. Nor are they rural folk. They work and they come from the city.
- 60% of the new rurals used to live in Suburban Montreal
- 92% lived in an urban setting for a significant part of their lives (19+ years)
- They are very well educated - 74% have a university degree
- 83% of the new rurals are 40 years old or older. 17% are young adults between 25 - 39 years of age
- 56% are retired or semi retired - 41% still work
- Among those who still work 68.3% are self employed
- 83% of the new rurals migrated to the country because of the attraction of rural life.
- Access to the web is another key issue
My great grandfather had to put up with a very poor quality of life when he first arrived in Montreal. His main goal was to find work and opportunity and that only existed in the city.
But today, IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT SKILLS, you can work anywhere and the opportunity depends on your network - that may mot be in your city but all over the world. For instance, my son who lives in Montreal is in Minneapolis this weekend at a conference of his peers. His peers congregate online or at conferences. They do not live next door to him in Montreal. 90% of his peers do not live in Montreal. His work does not anchor him in the city. I think being 33 does - for now!
Now you can make the quality of life the main issue.
For instance, I met a couple on the trail this week. They had just moved from Old Montreal. They told me that they had not had a proper night's sleep in the 5 years in their old place - it was so noisy. They had made the choice to have a better quality of life. Their dog, mine and another all met on the trail that day. For us it is often the dog and not the child that provides the entree to a new relationship. They are musicians.
Most new rural migrants work for themselves. They don't commute to Montreal for work. Though they might go to town for fun.
Check us out. What have you to lose? Your life?
(This data comes from a research paper - Nouvel population dans La Quebec rural - Le cas de la municipalitie regionale de comte (MRC) de Brome- Missisquoi 20018 by Guamond, Lauri, Simard and Myriam)