Rural regions

Rural areas with their villages and traditional farming landscape are a striking feature of our homeland. This is where the majority of our small and medium-sized enterprises from trade, industry and services are located. This is also where our regionally diverse food is produced. The decentralised structure is one of Germany’s particular strengths. Our countryside also offers space for nature and leisure activities.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture promotes rural development, in order for rural regions – with their different economic and demographic challenges – to remain vibrant and attractive. To this end, we want to create a basis for competitive rural areas with interesting jobs and the necessary utilities and connections. We also want to use and strengthen the diverse voluntary commitment of the people living in these regions.

Overview of topics

Voluntary work

Around 30 million citizens in Germany are involved in voluntary work. Especially in villages, this voluntary commitment is irreplaceable for making life attractive and jointly mastering diverse challenges. A lively club life and volunteer initiatives are important factors for villages, enhancing their attractiveness and helping prevent depopulation.


Rural development support

One of the German Federal Government’s aims is to strengthen rural regions as independent areas to live and work in, and to make them sustainable, future-proof and attractive, taking into account their different potential for development. There are a number of funding instruments from the European Union, the German Federal Government and the Länder that are available for this purpose.


Digitalisation in rural areas

A good digital infrastructure and the possibilities of digitalisation are important to keep the living and working environment attractive, especially in rural areas.


Village development

Villages can offer a high quality of life. Rural regions are living, working and cultural areas in a near-natural environment. An active village community that consciously develops the village for the here and now and for the future is indispensable.



Mobility services are an essential element for ensuring that rural regions and their communities remain attractive for people and businesses. They ensure the accessibility of workplaces, local supply services, medical care, educational institutions and cultural activities.



In addition to demographic change, the structural change of the rural economy is also shaping life and work in the countryside. Fewer and fewer people work in agriculture and forestry. The majority of jobs in rural areas (around 70 percent) are now, as in urban areas, in the service sector.