The causes of rural depopulation have not altered in any signiﬁcant way during the last century and a half. A change in emphasis has naturally occurred between the various factors involved, and both at different times and at different places the local or regional causes of the rural exodus will lay a different stress upon individual forces of expulsion. The basic cause is everywhere the same. Rural depopulation has occurred in the past century and a half, and will continue in the future, because of declining employment opportunities in the countryside. Economic activities have steadily moved from the villages and the rural communities into the towns and the urban areas; and as employment possibilities have diminished in the rural areas, the village populations have moved into the towns. To put the matter thus baldly is greatly to simplify a complicated problem, but it is nevertheless important to grasp hold of the basic elements of the rural problem. The historical forces that have been at work since the late eighteenth century have led to a concentration and a centralization of economic life in large industrial units and in large urban agglomerations and rural life and rural society have been steadily weakened. Without the provision of work there can be no reversal of the depopulating trends in our rural society.
(J. Saville, Rural Depopulation in England and Wales,1851–1951, 1957 [Tip: daliwch Ctrl a chliciwch dolen i'w agor mewn tab newydd. (Cuddio tip)] )