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TOTAL - Rural economic security and vitality´s Profile image

TOTAL - Rural economic security and vitality

01.05.2024 - 30.04.2026
Karelian Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies
Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies


Main funder

Maa- ja metsätalousministeriö on rahoittanut hanketta Maaseutupolitiikan neuvoston asettaman hankeryhmän esityksestä Makeran valtakunnallisiin maaseudun tutkimus- ja kehittämishankkeisiin suunnatuista rahoista.

TOTAL - Rural economic security and vitality funder logo


The organisation and development of local economies in rural areas can be explained by the interaction of internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) factors. Endogenous factors affecting rural local economies include local resources mobilised by local businesses, the third sector, public authorities, and rural residents. Exogenous factors include the surrounding international economy and its development, the economies of nearby growth centres, and development funding and transfers from the European Union, the state, and municipalities. In the context of rural research, this mix of endogenous and exogenous factors is described by the concept of neo-endogenous development. In addition to external and internal factors, the rural economy is influenced by linkages and participation in economic and social networks. Therefore, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the rural economy, it is necessary to consider both external and internal factors, their magnitude and interconnections, and their importance for rural vitality.

The TOTAL research project provides an overview of the rural economy, its situation, functioning, prospects, and links to economic security and, more broadly, to the vitality of cities and regions. The project also aims to provide tools and recommendations for place-based development of the rural economy. In order to achieve the project’s objective, the study will address the following research questions:

  • Which factors and actors contribute to the overall picture of local rural economies?
  • What is the current state and future prospects of rural local economies?
  • What are the implications of projected rural demographic trends for economic security in terms of labour supply, business continuity and development?
  • How is the rural economy linked to the vitality and economy of cities and regions?

The information produced by the project will serve the implementation of the Rural Policy Programme 2021-2027. In particular, the project will facilitate the implementation of measures related to rural security of supply and improving competitiveness and vitality, as defined in the Rural policy programme. However, the results can also be employed in the preparation of government legislation and in the assessment and planning of rural impacts in different sectors.

The project is a two-year collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland and the Natural Resources Institute.