Document Type : Original Article
MSc Student , Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Water and Environment Research Institute, Mashhad, Iran.
Although living in a village might be very pleasant and dreamy at first glance, it is hard and harsh because of many factors such as poverty, unemployment, drought, global warming, and low water and agricultural productivity. Despite such difficult conditions and low quality of rural life, a significant number of people remain in villages and do not migrate. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting survival, sustainability and staying of people in the villages to answer this question: Why do the rural people still remain in their villages? The statistical population included the rural households living in Bayg sub-district of Torbat Heydariyeh County, Razavi Khorasan province of Iran. Using Cochran's formula, 188 households were systematically randomly selected and surveyed via stratified sampling method by a questionnaire. The studied variables included social cohesion, social trust, social participation, and natural, cultural, welfare and economic attractions as well as individual characteristics. The study results showed that a combination of four economic, cultural, natural and individual factors affected sustainable rurality, respectively; and among these factors, lack of economic strength had the greatest impact on the persistence and non-migration of the rural people. However, the fragile social-environmental conditions could change the rural people’s decisions if we failed to engage in capacity building and social empowerment and facilitation by participation of the rural people themselves.