The rural exodus

The rural exodus

by María Burguet, University of Valencia, Department of Geography

The picture was taken in the Caroig massif (Valencia, Spain).
It is an example of what has happened in most of the mountains in Spain. Since the end of the autarky period (1939-1959) during Franco's regime, spanish economy grew as it was possible the inflow of foreing exchange. Together with the industry sector, tourism was a key factor against the country's isolation.
The need of raw material for the industry (wood in most of the cases) as well as the new opportunities resulting from the tourism caused the exodus of population towards coastal areas. As a consequence, inland (rural) areas implied geographical changes in land/soil uses.