Key Rural Issues Publication - 2020

Date published: 30 September 2020

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today published ‘Key Rural Issues 2020’.

DARD news

This publication presents publicly available data from a range of Government and non-Government sources, from a unique urban/rural perspective, in order to highlight key urban/rural differences and disparities across a range of domains.

Key statistics from the report are summarised below:

  • Rural workers (91%) are also much more likely to use private transport to commute than those from urban areas (74%)
  • More than half (58%) of NI businesses are in rural areas, yet rural businesses account for less than a quarter (20%) of employees and around a quarter (25%) of total business turnover
  • Just 18% of all overnight tourism visits to NI, and only 14% of associated expenditure took place in rural locations
  • Levels of home ownership are higher in rural than in urban areas (80% to 63%), with house prices in rural areas higher on average than in towns and cities
  • People living in rural areas were more likely to be in employment, with around three quarters (74%) employed either full or part-time
  • People living in rural areas were more likely to report high happiness levels (43%) than those in urban areas (35%), and high life satisfaction (42% compared to 34%)
  • Rural households are twice as likely as urban households to be in fuel poverty - almost a third (32%) of rural households experience fuel poverty compared to 16% of those in urban areas
  • 19% of all police-recorded offences occurred in rural areas
  • Offences with a racist, sectarian or homophobic motivation declined in urban areas between 2018 and 2019, but increased for three types in rural areas 

Download more information on the Key Rural Issues 2020 report from the DAERA website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.
  2. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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