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The immigrant population in rural areas of the Basque country

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Authors: B. Eguía, J.R. Murua, L. Aldaz e I. Astorkiza
Issue: 109-2 (215-238)
Topic: Agricultural Economics
Keywords: Spatial demography, population concentration, immigration, rural population, entrepreneurship.

Despite the current economic crisis, the Basque country remains a foreign destination for immigrants, often coming from other Spanish regions most affected by this crisis. Given the quantitative and qualitative importance of migration flow, the paper explores spatial localization patterns of the immigrant population and its contribution to the correction or accentuation of regional imbalances in the distribution of the population. It also analyzes the role in the recovery and rejuvenation of rural areas. Knowing the location patterns of the population in metropolitan areas, it is interesting to analyze the behavior of the rural areas of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country as a destination and settlement of immigrants and their contribution to the revitalization of rural areas.Although it is not as important as in other Spanish rural areas, the contribution of immigrants to the recovery and maintenance of the rural population of the Basque Country is really significant and has occurred spontaneously or without planning. These new contributions of population are one of the few possible ways to revitalize the rural tissue. Although the dominant productive activity in these areas does not always require new contributions of labor, the increase of the aging population, in general, will offer new job opportunities in domestic services and aged care. Immigrants are concentrated in much of these tasks. Furthermore, the immigrant population has a significant entrepreneurial propensity.

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