In the context of the long-term vision for rural areas, the European Commission has made available on its website key data for EU rural areas broken down by topic. The data, which is up-to-date, covers a wide range of categories, such as topography, demography, social inclusion, access to service and infraestructure… etc.

Looking at the data, there are important gaps that rural areas face compared to cities. On digital skills, for example, in the EU, the share of rural residents that have at least basic digital skills is 14 points lower than of city residents (48% vs 62%) in 2019. When it comes to employment, the EU rural employment rate was 67% for women and 80% for men in 2019, which translates to a gender employment gap of 13 percentage points. In comparison, the employment rate of city residents (for people aged 20-64) was 68% for women and 78% for men, which translates to a gender employment gap of 10 percentage points. Take a look at the full data on the Commission’s website.