Remarkable population growth in rural villages around Madrid

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rural villages
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The rural villages in the Comunidad de Madrid, each with fewer than 2,500 inhabitants, have experienced remarkable population growth over the past five years. These villages, often grappling with ageing populations and depopulation, have seen their numbers rise by 11.5%, from 55,221 to 61,603 residents.

This success is attributed to the efforts of the regional government led by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, which has launched various initiatives to enhance the liveability and attractiveness of these rural villages.

Fibre optics boosts remote working

One of the key factors behind this growth is the introduction of fibre optic internet, making remote working more feasible. Many new residents, including doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, have settled permanently in these villages thanks to improved internet connectivity. For example, Venturada, a village 50 minutes from the capital, saw an 18% population increase. According to Mayor Carolina Folgueira, a neighbourhood originally composed mainly of holiday homes transformed during the pandemic. “Thanks to good internet and the possibility of remote working, we have attracted many new residents,” Folgueira noted.

Government investments

In addition to technological improvements, government investments have played a crucial role. The regional government has provided significant subsidies for enhancing local infrastructure and amenities. Miguel Ángel García, the regional minister for the Presidency, Justice, and Local Administration, emphasised the importance of equal access to services for all residents, regardless of their location. “Since implementing our strategy for revitalising rural villages, we have observed steady population growth,” García stated.

‘Pueblos con Vida’ programme

Recently, the Madrid region launched the ‘Pueblos con Vida’ programme, a plan with 13 measures to keep villages vibrant and encourage population growth. This includes subsidies for improving and making village centres more accessible, establishing and maintaining local businesses such as cafes and shops, and constructing and renovating affordable housing for young people.

Local success stories

Another success story is Fresno del Torote, 55 minutes from Madrid, where the population has grown by 14% since the arrival of fibre optic internet. Councillor Ana Arranz explains that many new residents moved permanently due to the availability of high-speed internet.

The small village of Robledillo de la Jara has also seen impressive growth, with a 69% increase in population. Mayor Guillermo Crescente highlights the crucial role of fast internet. “Many new residents first inquired about the internet connection. When they learned that fibre optic was available, they decided to settle here,” Crescente said.

Also read: Six abandoned villages  in Spain for sale for less than 100,000 euros

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