While most people have to spent lots of money to relocate to new countries, some EU towns are doing quite the opposite to lure migrants.
In recent years, numerous towns in Europe have been facing the challenge of dwindling populations due to young people migrating to cities or choosing not to have children.
In response to this demographic shift, local governments in countries such as Italy and Spain have come up with innovative solutions to encourage new residents to settle in these areas.
One such solution is offering cash incentives and relocation grants to attract foreigners to these towns. This report highlights some of the towns in Italy and Spain that are currently providing these incentives to individuals and families looking to start a new life abroad.
Albinen, a small village nestled in the Swiss Alps, is home to fewer than 250 residents. To boost its population, the local municipality has initiated a program that offers families over €50,000 to move there.
This picturesque village, located in the canton of Valais, is only a little over an hour’s drive from the renowned ski resort of Verbier. Under the program, adults under the age of 45 will receive 25,000 Swiss Francs (€25,300), with an additional 10,000 Swiss Francs (€10,120) per child.
However, this opportunity is exclusively available to Swiss citizens or eligible foreigners who have resided in Switzerland long enough to obtain a permit C residence. Applicants must also commit to living in Albinen for a minimum of 10 years and reside in a home worth at least 200,000 Swiss Francs (€202,310).
Located in Galicia, northwest Spain, the village of Rubia has introduced a unique incentive program for expats. This scheme aims to increase student numbers in local schools by offering expats a monthly payment of up to €150. This initiative is particularly targeted towards families, as Rubia seeks to create a vibrant and dynamic community. Situated 2.5 hours’ drive east of Santiago de Compostela, Rubia provides a peaceful and serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
The region of Calabria, situated in the southwestern part of Italy, has been significantly affected by depopulation. To counter this trend, Calabria has introduced an incentive program that offers up to €28,000 to individuals or families who relocate to a village with a population of 2,000 residents or fewer. However, there are certain eligibility criteria applicants must meet. They must be 40 years old or younger and must move to the region within 90 days of their application being accepted. Furthermore, they must either launch a business or secure employment in the region.
Ponga, a town and municipality in northwest Spain, is surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Cantabrian Mountains. This idyllic location offers hikers and nature enthusiasts a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve, with the added allure of being just an hour’s drive from the coast.
To attract new residents, Ponga is offering Brits £2,600 (€2,971) per person, with an additional £2,600 for every baby born in the town. However, interested individuals must commit to living in Ponga for a minimum of five years. This initiative not only aims to revitalize the town’s population but also to foster community growth and development.
Presicce-Acquarica, located in the southern Italian region of Puglia, is composed of two towns surrounded by beautiful countryside and olive groves. To entice new residents, the municipality of Presicce-Acquarica offers relocation incentives of up to €30,000.
Individuals or families interested in applying for the program must officially move their residency to the southern Italian town. The funds provided must be used to purchase and renovate an uninhabited property in the area, which presents a wonderful opportunity for individuals looking to immerse themselves in the rich history and charm of southern Italy.
Additionally, an extra €1,000 will be granted for every baby born in Presicce-Acquarica, further emphasizing the town’s commitment to revitalizing its population.
The captivating island of Sardinia, known for its stunning beaches, azure skies, and turquoise waters, has been facing a decline in its rural population as young locals seek opportunities abroad.
To counter this trend, the Italian government has allocated €45 million for a relocation grant, offering individuals €15,000 to move to Sardinian municipalities with populations of less than 3,000 people.
However, there are certain conditions applicants must meet. The grant must be used to purchase or renovate a home, with the amount not exceeding half of the total cost of the property or renovation. Recipients of the grant are required to reside in Sardinia full time and register for permanent residency within 18 months of arrival.
The allure of city life has led to a decline in population in many rural areas across Europe. However, several towns in Italy and Spain are taking proactive measures to attract new residents and revitalize their communities.
By offering cash incentives, relocation grants, and other perks, these towns hope to create opportunities for individuals and families seeking a fresh start.
Whether it’s the alpine serenity of Albinen, the natural beauty of Ponga, the tranquility of Rubia, the charm of Calabria, the idyllic countryside of Presicce-Acquarica, or the Mediterranean paradise of Sardinia, each town has its unique appeal.
These initiatives not only benefit the towns themselves but also provide an opportunity for individuals to experience a new way of life, embrace cultural diversity, and contribute to the sustainable growth of these communities.
For those dreaming of starting a new chapter in Europe, these towns beckon with open arms and enticing incentives.