Almost two-thirds of Romanians who live in major cities would move to the countryside in the next two years….. as long as they have a good internet connection, a study by mobile provider Vodafone has found.
The majority of urbanites (59%) said the pandemic had changed their way of thinking about living in the country, according to the survey which was ordered by Vodafone Institute.
Some 62% said they would consider uprooting and moving from the city to the countryside.
The main benefits cited by 74% of respondents were closeness to nature and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, 80% said.
Only 19% named cheaper rents as a reason to relocate to the countryside.
The main condition for relocating is the internet, which 69% said was a must-have while 25% called it ‘nice to have’.
The figures were roughly the same as in other European countries where the survey was carried out.
Apart from the internet, 54% said good health services were important, while 42% said they’d like to see good public transport.
For 46% good educational institutions were an essential prerequisite.
Inger Paus, managing director of the Vodafone Institute said: “In light of the experiences of the pandemic, closing the gap between urban and rural life seems has become even more important in the European Union”.
She said the survey showed that connectivity is the most necessary precondition for moving to the countryside.
Investments through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience plan directed toward digital transformation, means “the EU now has a unique opportunity to …. improve the quality of life of millions of European citizens.
Vodafone Institute ordered the Digitising Europe online survey of 15,000 citizens which was carried out from May 5 to 16 June in 15 European countries.
City residents were interviewed in Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK.