Our paper tested the role of local population in development of rural municipalities. We focused especially on attitudes and general characteristics of people and tried to answer the question to which extent is the success of village development connected with the kind of people living there. In other words, determining the role of cultural and social capital in rural development. Presented results are based on work carried out by a research team within the three-year project entitled “Countryside as a Space for Living or just a Space for Surviving”, supported by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture 1 . We analyzed statistical data from a fifteen-year period (1995-2009). From the rural area with more than 6,000 villages that fit to OECD definition, villages from sub-urban zones were excluded, leaving an area with approximately 4,500 villages. We decided that demographic development would serve as a main indicator of village prosperity - the increasing number of population during our analyzed period. Four thousand villages were statistically divided into five groups in terms of growing or decreasing number of population due to a different level of combination of two factors - rate of population growth (crude rate of natural increase) and rate of migration (crude rate of net migration). One thousand respondents, from one hundred villages selected at random, were asked about their life conditions in their village. The results we gained partly confirm our hypothesis that the role of cultural capital is not negligible for determining the type of development.
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