rural depopulation

Rural change:
Rural depopulation.
Rural depopulation:
• The process of people migrating away from
remote rural areas
Push factor: reasons why people leave a place
Pull factor: reasons why people move to a place
Case Study: Rural depopulation from
the Western Isles, Scotland
The Western Isles
• The Western Isles are a chain of islands in the Atlantic
Ocean off the Northwest coast of Scotland. The Islands are
also known as the Outer Hebrides or officially called by the
Gaelic name, Na h-Eileanan Siar.
• The Western Isles are accessed from mainland Scotland by
ferries and airplanes. With both being dependent on good
weather the Islands are often cut of in winter.
• The population of the Western Isles is approximately
26,502, of these an estimated 11,824 adults have home
Internet access.
• has the aim of using of the internet
to interconnect the island communities with each other
and the world.
Western Isles
Outer Hebrides:
The main islands form an archipelago of which the
major islands include Lewis and Harris, North
Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra.
Inner Hebrides – not part of the Western Isles but
part of the Hebrides
The largest of these islands are, from south to
north, Islay, Jura, Mull, Rùm and Skye. Skye is the
largest and most populous of all with an area of
1,656 km2 (639 sq mi) and a population of just
over 10,000.
Depopulation in Western Isle case
• Push factors:
• Pull factors:
• Consequences:
The Western Isles – why are people
11 Western Isles schools to close
Solutions (Stornaway)
Explain the consequences of rural
depopulation from remote rural
areas (6)
Model answer
• The population of the Western Isles, Scotland has declined by 50%
over the last century. This situation has brought a range of
consequences for the area. For instance the council are planning to
close 11 schools due to low enrollment; one school was due to have
just 7 pupils next academic year. The school closures could lead to
positives and negatives for the islands. On the negative side pupils
will have to travel further for school, will not be unable to attend
after school clubs and some may even have to live away from home
for parts of the week. However, 75 million is being invested in new
schools that aim to give students a better school experience with
more up to date facilities.
• The Western Isles have a unique environment and provide a habitat
for many rare and endangered birds e.g. the white tailed eagle.
Depopulation may lead fewer negative influences of humans into
their natural habitat and so species may be more likely to flourish.
However, there is also concern that without people the areas will
be neglected and important conservation will not take place.
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