Across Europe, towns with lessening populaces have thought of a radical solution for enticing new occupants by offering cash incentives. Many rural areas are facing ageing populations as young people move to cities or opt not to have children.
To battle this, some local governments are encouraging foreigners to take up residence with relocation grants and cash payouts. From Spain to Italy, here are all the places in Europe that will pay you to relocate there.
Albinen in the Swiss Alps:
Albinen in the Swiss Alps is home to less than 250 occupants. To top up its populace, the small town is proposing to pay families over €50,000 to move there.
Roosted on a mountainside in the canton of Valais, the pleasant town is a little more than an hour’s drive from celeb ski resort Verbier.
Grown-ups under 45 years of age will get 25,000 Swiss Francs (€25,300) to move there, in addition to 10,000 Swiss Francs (€10,120) per child.
The plan is simply open to Swiss residents or qualified outsiders who have lived in Switzerland sufficiently long to acquire a Permit C residence.
Applicants are also expected to reside in a home which is worth 200,000 Swiss Francs (€202,310) and should focus on residing in Albinen for 10 years. The neighborhood committee says they get upwards of 100 applications every day.
Ponga is in the Cantabrian Mountains.Canva
Ponga, a 600-person town and municipality in northwest Spain, will pay Brits £2,600 (€2,971) each to relocate there. A further £2,600 will be given for each baby born there.
With a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in the heart of the Cantabrian Mountains on its doorstep, the town is a haven for hikers. It is also just an hour’s drive from the coast.
In order to take advantage of the offer, Brits have to commit to living in Ponga for at least five years.
Galicia is in northwest Spain. The town of Rubia in Galicia will pay expats up to €150 per month to live there. The scheme is targeted at families with the hope of increasing student numbers at local schools. Rubia is located in northwest Spain, 2.5 hours’ drive east of Santiago de Compostela.
Calabria, Italy, is lined with beaches, and in its southwestern region, relocating to a village with 2,000 residents or fewer will earn you up to €28,000. The initiative hopes to combat depopulation.
Those keen on applying should be 40 years of age or under and move to the region within 90 days of their application being accepted. They must also launch a business or find employment in a sector that needs more workers. This includes restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts and shops.
The Italian island of Sardinia is offering individuals €15,000 to migrate there. Known for its sandy sea shores, blue skies and turquoise waters, the Mediterranean idyll faces lessening rustic populace numbers, as youthful local people move to another country for work.
To stop this exodus entirely, the government has set aside over €45 million for the relocation grant, enough to cover 3,000 grants. To be eligible for the grant, you will have to move to a Sardinian municipality with a population of less than 3,000 people.
The money must also be used to buy or renovate a home. The grant cannot exceed half of the total cost of the house or renovation – meaning, in some cases, the €15,000 sum will be reduced.
Recipients must live there full time, and must register for permanent residency in Sardinia within 18 months of arrival.
Another Sardinian initiative sees the commune of Ollolai welcome remote workers with three months’ free rent.
Ireland is offering generous cash incentives to people willing to move to one of the nation’s remote islands. The initiative is part of the government’s ‘Our Living Islands’ policy, which aims to boost the population of 30 communities not linked to the mainland by bridges and cut off by the tides.
As part of the project, Ireland’s government will pay over €80,000 to new residents of offshore communities. Prospective residents need to purchase and own a property on one of the islands. The building must have been constructed before 1993 and been vacant for a minimum of two years.