More and more Czechs are abandoning large cities to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, suggests a new survey by the Czech Statistical Office. Central Bohemia has become by far the most popular region, with more than 62 % of all moves taking place there. However, Czechs don’t travel too far from the cities, so that they can still enjoy the advantages of modern civilization.
Job opportunities, a lower cost of living and a better environment are among the main reasons why more and more Czechs are deciding to change their address. Last year some 13,000 moved from Prague into the Central Bohemia region, compared to around 6,000 in 1996. Despite the exodus, the Czech capital remains a very popular address. Eduard Durnik from the Czech Statistical Office:
“Prague is still attractive to people from the rest of the country. People from different regions try to get a job there, so there is migration to the city. The number of people coming to Prague from different regions is still higher than the number of Prague residents leaving to the suburbs.”
Alena Sanders is one of those who decided to leave the capital. Her new address is the small town of Vlasim in Central Bohemia, some 60 km from Prague. I wanted to know what were the reasons that drove her out of the capital:
“One of the main reasons was that I spent my whole life at the suburbs of Prague and it was a really nice, quiet place. Prague is developing pretty fast, there is a lot of new houses and apartments and it became a pretty noisy place. Another reason was as well that all the prices of houses in Prague are really rising and we figured out that it would be more accessible for us to buy a house in the countryside rather than in Prague, because we were not willing to take a big mortgage.
Although she admits the beginnings were a bit difficult, Alena Sanders has no doubts she and her husband have made a good decision:
“For me it was a sort of cultural shock. You have to get used to the fact that you are not anonymous anymore but you are a part of a very different society. And of course there are not that many opportunities to go out in the evening. On the other hand because it’s in Central Bohemia, so whenever I miss Prague, I can go there and enjoy it for a while, but in the end I am always happy to go back home out of Prague.”