Asset Publisher

Article

What has become of the urban exodus since the pandemic?

Antonio López-Gay, Department of Geography of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Centre for Demographic Studies
Project selected in the Social Research Call 2021

More than three years after the outbreak of the pandemic, we have sufficient empirical evidence to analyse what effect it had on the residential behaviour of the Spanish urban population. Specifically, these dynamics are analysed for the two-year period 2020-2021 in the six Spanish municipalities with a population of over 500,000: Madrid, Barcelona, València, Seville, Zaragoza, and Málaga. The first months of the pandemic prompted a drift towards rural areas, especially those located at a medium distance from large cities, but its intensity was limited. This trend involved the more advantaged socioeconomic groups. In the second year of the pandemic there was a clear recovery of the intensity of the drift from the core cities to metropolitan municipalities, together with a drop in moves to rural ones in comparison with 2020, although levels continued to be higher than those recorded in 2019. Despite the changes brought by the pandemic, no profound modification has been identified in the residential patterns that predominated previously. The major cities will continue to constitute poles of attraction and retention of population.
Key points
  • 1
       The pandemic caused specific changes in the residential behaviour of the urban population in 2020 and 2021.
  • 2
       In 2020 there was an increase in the drift towards municipalities with a small population, especially those at an intermediate distance from the big cities. In general, second homes, previous links with the area and the environmental setting all played a key role.
  • 3
       In 2021 there was a recovery of the intensity of the drift from the major core cities to metropolitan municipalities and, in comparison with 2020, a drop in moves to rural municipalities. The intensification of suburban drift may persist in coming years, but this will not affect the appeal of the city centres.
  • 4
       As a consequence of the spread of teleworking and other hybrid forms of employment, moves to less densely populated municipalities involved the more advantaged socioeconomic groups. It is important to follow up the implications of this trend on the sociospatial makeup of the metropolitan regions.
  • 5
       Despite the changes brought by the pandemic, one cannot talk of an urban exodus, as no profound modification has been found in the residential mobility patterns that predominated in previous decades.
Quefuedelexodourbano_EN_0_ok.png

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Article

Suicide-related calls to 112

According to a study conducted in Valencia, suicide calls to 112 increased during the period 2017-2022.

Article

Mental health in Catalonia one year into the covid-19 pandemic

What did the pandemic mean for mental health? Over 25% of participants presented symptoms of moderate or severe depression.  

Article

Adversities related to well-being during the pandemic

Did the pandemic affect everyone equally? On a financial level, it had a greater impact on those with lower levels of education and income.

Article

Telework after the Pandemic

Does men’s involvement in household chores increase when they work from home?

You may also find interesting

Inequality of carbon emissions across income and age in Spain

Article

Inequality of carbon emissions across income and age in Spain


Social Inclusion

The top 1% of carbon emitters have a carbon footprint that is 7 times higher than the average.

Place your investments or place your bets? Relationship between gambling addiction and trading

Article

Place your investments or place your bets? Relationship between gambling addiction and trading


Social Inclusion

What relationship exists between gaming/gambling addiction, bets in videogames, and investments in financial assets?

Adversities related to well-being during the pandemic

Article

Adversities related to well-being during the pandemic


Social Inclusion

Did the pandemic affect everyone equally? On a financial level, it had a greater impact on those with lower levels of education and income.