A new scientific article – written by Dr. Mariann Szabó research fellow of iASK – was published in the Journal of the Regional Science Association International
An article entitled “SMSTs on Thin Ice – Motivations Behind Migration from a Hungarian Micro‐region” has been accepted for publication in the official journal of the Regional Science Association International called Regional Science Policy and Practice (https://rsaiconnect.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/rsp3.12287).
The aim of the study, authored by iASK research fellow Dr. Mariann Szabó and Pannonia University researcher Dr. Zsuzsa Banász was to highlight the factors influencing the attachment of inhabitants to the towns in the test area ‘Murafölde’, a Hungarian micro‐region. It was assumed, that the level of attachment is a function of the inhabitants’ satisfaction with their employment opportunities. In 2017, a total of 1,900 questionnaires had been collected in the test area. This was the first survey in the region aiming at identifying the inhabitants’ motivation for mobility. Results indicate that satisfaction with employment opportunities significantly influence the attachment to the towns, while other factors are even stronger. From the viewpoint of the future of the micro-region, the emigration of youth and qualified persons is a real loss. The main reasons for this loss are the lack of job opportunities and low wages, while the attachment of people to their towns and to the micro-region is relatively strong. The displacement of local residents can cause a snowball effect in the long run since the diminishing market potential will affect the service portfolio of current providers (education, healthcare, consumption), while the growth of the aging population will increase the vulnerability of the society. The relationship analyses have proven that people feel more comfortable in their town if they are more satisfied with their work and think that the values of the local community are similar to theirs. This result may highlight the strength of small communities, where traditions, direct help networks are more common than in larger cities. Concerning the regional centre, Nagykanizsa, those, who are more satisfied with their work, plan to live their life in the town, and also want their children to live and work here. Otherwise, it is important to note, that in the case of other towns of Murafölde region the extent people feel more comfortable in their town does not correlate with how satisfied they are with their work, rather with how they feel the local community is similar to themselves and how satisfied they are with the natural environment: clean air, water, etc., with the size and condition of the green surfaces, and with affordable housing options. These results underline the importance of rural areas from a housing point of view, but in order to strengthen their liveability, good connections to economically strong centres must be developed.