At least 1 in 10 Romanians consider moving to the country
At least 1 in 10 Romanians consider moving to the country, according to the first study that analyzes the phenomenon in Romania
• At the initiative of the POLICOLOR company, the first study showing the perception and extent of downshifting in Romania was carried out
• Romanians who think most intensely about moving to smaller towns, link the decision to raising children, their departure or retirement
București, 2 september 2022
The „downshifting” phenomenon, visible in many countries since the 90s, has become more and more present in Romania as well. Along with people starting projects related to their own homes and considering the way the last two years have shaped us, SPOR, Policolor’s traditional brand, initiated a complex study that makes an x-ray of the relocation phenomenon from the large urban environment to the rural or small urban environment in Romania.
Some people who live in big cities may decide to move to the countryside to start a simpler life, very different from before. The reasons why people do this may differ, but in essence the phenomenon involves giving up the life lived in a big city, with all that it implies, and moving to the village, that is, moving to a different way of living.
At the SPOR initiative, D&D Research and the Zaga Brand agency conducted the study that shows the size of the „downshifting” phenomenon in Romania, who are the people most willing to make the change and what are the perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of a simpler life.
1 out of 3 Romanians know someone who has downshifted
39% of Romanians participating in the study know someone who has downshifted. When asked if they were satisfied with the choice made, 88% stated that they were at least satisfied with the decision to move.
The specialists also explain how such a high percentage, 39%, was reached: in the perception of Romanians, dowshifting – defined as a process of relocation to the countryside and a change in the depth of life – does not exclude moving to rural areas adjacent to large metropolises.
In fact, the data from this study show that in general people would prefer a solution that preserves the benefits of both worlds and has, if possible, neither of the disadvantages. Asked about where to relocate in search of a quieter lifestyle, 67% would prefer it to be near a big city. 44% would prefer a commune, and another 34% would prefer moving to the village. 46% of participants would prefer to move into an old but renovated house.
„The lives of Romanians are changing, and their choices are not much different from the inhabitants of other countries. They seek comfort, a healthy environment in which to develop and raise their families. Those looking for old but renovated houses look for the quality of the materials used and how suitable they are for a space where nature is more present: SPOR with silver ions, with antibacterial and antifungal effect, SPOR hypoallergenic paint, the right choice for people with allergies , products that protect wood from decay and blue fungus such as Proxilin, and especially products without harmful effects on butterflies and bees, such as SPOR Aqua enamels, water-based SPOR varnishes or the drying oil.
Because the move itself comes with many challenges, the care of setting up a new space should not become a recurring one, at short intervals of time. That is why paints resistant to repeated cleanings such as SPOR Latex MAT or the bright white, resistant for 5 years offered by SPOR TIXO, offer the best price-quality ratio and are the natural choices of Romanians who look fondly towards the future. We are happy to be with those who choose to take this step, with durable, eco-friendly and reliable products. House by house, we continue to paint a new Romania”, declares Elena Curelaru, Group Marketing Director of Policolor-Orgachim.
At least 1 in 10 Romanians consider downshifting
14% of the study participants are determined to take the step towards downshifting, while another 19% think it is rather possible. br
For the majority of those who do not reject the idea of dowshifting in the future (44%) the motivations for the change are „peace/less stress”(45%), fresh air and living closer to nature (26%), space (11%), while they report as obstacles the job (44%), relocation costs and insufficient money (36%), adaptation to rural conditions (3%).
Those who plan to move would like to do agriculture/ small local production/ farmer- 36%, remote work- 36%, project adapted to the new community type local entrepreneurship- 28%.<
Of the total of those who decided to move in the near future, 97% want to stay in Romania. From here, the destinations and reasons vary between a relative proximity to a big city – 67% and as far and as isolated as possible from a big city -33%. In the first category, the preferences are divided between commune – 44%, village – 34% or small town – 12%
What do Romanians like about the city?
21% of Romanians completely reject the idea of downshifting – because they do not see themselves far from the comfort of life in the city and perceive the existence of an increased cost for such a lifestyle. Most participants consider as possible motivations: peace (21%), air & nature (19%), better standard of living in the country (10%) while their barriers have the following ranking high relocation costs (40%) , the advantages of life in the city (22%), the family (15%) – children or parents engaged in institutional systems.
There are Romanians who totally reject the idea for rational reasons. The survey also shows that the perceived barriers to resettlement are the lack of infrastructure (water, gas, medical services) in the city. For them the ideal would be to find a good location that is „in the country” but close to the city. One of the reasons in the top 3 barriers is going out in the city.
Adults are the closest to the idea of relocation
Invited to name the benefits of this change, the participants in the study carried out by D&D Research, mentioned: stress reduction, organic food and significantly less polluted environment, reduction of living costs, simplification of life, reduction of consumption and purchase of material goods.
Contrary to the general impression of the last 2 years, it is not young people who make up the relevant sample of people moved to the country (6%, people up to 40 years old), but adults, even older – 23%, between 40-50 years old , 38%, between 50-60 years.
However, the representative sample surveyed also provides a time horizon of personal downshifting: when I will retire – 16%, when the children will grow up – 17%, when I will find the right house – 6%, when I will finish the house – 6%, when I will have enough money- 5%.
From the surveyed sample, the interviewed persons (36%) declared income between 5,500-7,000 lei, (23%) between 2,500 and 4,000 lei, (23%) over 7,000 lei, (5%) between 1,500-4,000 lei.
„The phenomenon of downshifting is a very complex one that is only beginning to be studied more deeply, because it is only now beginning to have sufficient consistency. We will probably come to many interesting conclusions when more data is available. Until then, only one conclusion stands out: the trend is more likely to be found in people on the upper floors of Maslow’s pyramid who can still keep their lower floors covered following the change they are making.
This phenomenon was strongly present during the pandemic among those who work in what we call the new economy and which is concentrated in big cities (corporatists, the gig economy, etc.). br It was largely generated and supported by the WFH phenomenon. The fact that Romania is well covered by companies that offer communication utilities (telecom), including in areas that practice rural tourism or those rural areas close to big cities, has also contributed to the expansion of this phenomenon. Downshifting was supported by the existence of a surplus of resources/wealth in the case of these people and by the international trend – the great resignation-„, explains Dan Petre, PhD in sociology and specialist in communication sciences, university lecturer at SNSPA and managing partner D&D Research.
The study was carried out by D&D Research, for SPOR, the Policolor brand, between 12.04.2022-29.04.2022, using the CATI method. The total sample was 855 people, representative of the urban environment and cities with over 200,000 inhabitants. The margin of error is 3.4%. br