Beyond Education and Employment: Exploring Youth Experiences of Their Communities, Place Attachment and Reasons for Migration
- Year: 2006
- Author: Eacott, Chelsea; Sonn, Christopher C
- Journal Name: Rural Society
- Journal Number: Vol. 16, No. 2
- Country: Australia
- State/Region: Victoria
The population in rural areas of Australia has been declining for many decades and it has become common practice to blame this decline on the migration of young people due to structural limitations (e.g. education and employment). This study explores factors associated with migration of youth from rural Victoria looking at their experience of place attachment, community satisfaction, rural culture and migration. Ten participants, four males and six females, were interviewed using a semi-structured guide; they had all relocated from rural Victorian communities to Melbourne. Thematic analyses of data led to the identification of two major thematic categories: migration dynamics and rural culture. Participants confirmed the lack of educational and employment opportunities as the main influences on rural youth migration. Interestingly it was found that all participants felt a sense of community satisfaction and attachment to place but still decided to relocate. Most expressed a desire to return to rural Victoria in the future. The potential of attachment to place and community are discussed as important points for community development initiatives aimed at addressing rural out-migration.