Aging in rural areas of Spain: the influence of demography on care strategies Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2016

start page

  • 214

end page

  • 230


  • 2


  • 21

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1081-602X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5398


  • In the rural areas of Spain the aging population trend is particularly acute, and these regions are also characterized by high sex ratios. These are the demographic consequences of an intense rural exodus that started in 1950. This paper addresses the strategies that families from these areas have put in place to guarantee care for the elderly in these limited demographic contexts. It quantifies the demographic change from 1910 to 2010 and analyzes current mechanisms for organizing social care. The methodology includes semi-structured interviews and secondary information obtained from censuses. The results show the emergence of new care strategies, the diversification of social agents involved in care, and the transformation of traditional gender relations. All these changes are conceptualized as social adaptation strategies that increase resilience in rural areas.


  • aging; gendered migration; elderly care; family networks; rural areas; elderly parents; older adults; family; europe; context; gender; women; work