16 November 2001

City lights draw youth

EXPENSIVE housing and boredom are driving young people away from the countryside, says Andrew Brown of the Forum for Rural Children and Young People.

Many head to urban areas in search of more affordable property and higher pay, says Mr Brown. "Its not necessarily their choice to leave, but if they are going to be able to live in accommodation that suits their needs and earn the money that they want to earn, they see it as the only way."

Many plan to return once theyve established a career and got a family, adds Mr Brown.

Frustration is also an issue for rural youngsters. "They may have access to all the technologies and can see the consumer culture in society. There is a huge level of boredom, especially among older teenagers."