Pandemic lockdowns have led to an exodus of cities into farming villages

Pandemic lockdowns have led to an exodus of cities into farming villages

The number of South Korean families moving from “urban areas to farming villages” hit an “all-time high” last year, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, noting that the phenomenon was in response to ongoing pandemic restrictions and soaring property prices nationwide.

A total of 377,744 South Korean households relocated from cities to the countryside in 2021. The statistic recorded a 5.6 percent increase from 2020 and the highest such figure since the South Korean federal government began collecting relevant data in 2013.

“The number of people who moved to rural areas also rose 4.2 percent year-on-year to 515,434 last year, marking a second consecutive year-on-year increase,” Yonhap reported on June 23, citing based on official data from the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“The number of people aged 30 and under and those aged 60 and over who have chosen to live in farming villages rose 5 percent and 16.4 percent year-on-year, respectively, to lead the overall increase,” Yonhap said.

A medical worker in a booth takes a nasal sample from a man at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, July 6, 2021. The sign on the left reads, “How to collect COVID-19 samples.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

According to the new dataset, 1,135 South Korean households relocated from urban centers to “fishing towns” in 2021. The figure represented a 26.5 percent increase from 2020.

“It’s the first time since 2018 that the number has increased year-on-year,” Yonhap noted of the relocations in fishing villages.

In a press release announcing the new statistics, South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture said, “Apparently, amid rising property prices, more people have been looking for new job opportunities and affordable housing.”

South Korea’s anti-epidemic movement and collection restrictions have continued nationwide for the past two years since China’s coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020. South Korea’s federal government continued to impose repressive lockdowns and protective restrictions on small businesses across the country, and particularly in South Korea, through Seoul through mid-April.

The transition team of conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who was elected president at the time, successfully persuaded South Korea’s then-left government to lift most remaining lockdowns and restrictions on businesses in mid-April. The effort has met with widespread relief from small business owners across the country, a large number of whom have repeatedly protested the measures over the past two years for crippling their business revenues.

Yoon’s transition team announced plans on April 28 to compensate 5.51 million small business owners across South Korea for economic losses they suffered as a direct result of the previous government’s lockdown once Yoon took office in May.

Yoon’s transition team leader, Ahn Cheol-soo, said Yoon – who was formally sworn in as president on May 10 – has pledged to provide “a 100-day roadmap aimed at fully empowering small business owners affected by the pandemic.” compensate,” Yonhap reported at the time.

“Ahn said 5.51 million small businesses have suffered an estimated 54 trillion won ($42.4 billion) worth of damage over the past two years due to the pandemic,” the news agency said.

“The exact calculation of the damage is the foundation of the fundamentals,” Ahn told reporters on April 28. “I cannot understand why (the current government) has not done this.”

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