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Want to get paid to move to Italy or Spain? Here are all the towns in need of new residents

Sardinia will pay you to relocate there.
Sardinia will pay you to relocate there. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
Published on Updated
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Start a new life abroad and get paid to do it thanks to these schemes.

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Across Europe, towns with dwindling populations have come up with a radical solution for enticing new residents by offering generous cash incentives.

Many rural areas are facing ageing populations as young people move to cities or opt not to have children.

To combat this, some local governments are encouraging foreigners to take up residence with relocation grants and cash payouts.

From Spain to Italy, here are all the places in Europe that will pay you to relocate there.

Wake up to alpine views in Albinen, Switzerland

Live with the Swiss Alps on your doorstep.
Live with the Swiss Alps on your doorstep.Canva

Albinen in the Swiss Alps is home to fewer than 250 residents. To top up its population, the small municipality is offering to pay families over €50,000 to move there.

Perched on a mountainside in the canton of Valais, the picturesque village is just over an hour’s drive from celeb ski resort Verbier.

Adults under 45 years old will receive 25,000 Swiss Francs (€25,300) to move there, plus 10,000 Swiss Francs (€10,120) per child.

The scheme is only open to Swiss citizens or eligible foreigners who have lived in Switzerland long enough to gain a permit C residence.

Applicants are also required to live in a home worth at least 200,000 Swiss Francs (€202,310) and must commit to living in Albinen for 10 years.

The local council says they receive as many as 100 enquiries a day, so be prepared to be patient if you are thinking of making an application. 

Escape to the mountains in Ponga, Spain

Ponga is in the Cantabrian Mountains.
Ponga is in the Cantabrian Mountains.Canva

Ponga, a 600-person town and municipality in northwest Spain, will pay Brits £2,600 (€2,971) each to relocate there. A further £2,600 will be given for each baby born there.

With a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in the heart of the Cantabrian Mountains on its doorstep, the town is a haven for hikers. It is also just an hour’s drive from the coast.

In order to take advantage of the offer, Brits have to commit to living in Ponga for at least five years.

Get a slice of the quiet life in Rubia, Spain

Galicia is in northwest Spain.
Galicia is in northwest Spain.Canva

The Spanish village of Rubia in Galicia will pay expats up to €150 a month to live there.

The scheme is targeted at families with the hope of increasing student numbers at local schools.

Rubia is located in northwest Spain, 2.5 hours’ drive east of Santiago de Compostela.

Explore beaches and villages in sun-baked Calabria, Italy

Calabria, Italy, is lined with beaches.
Calabria, Italy, is lined with beaches.Canva

In Calabria, Italy’s southwestern region, relocating to a village with 2,000 residents or fewer will earn you up to €28,000.

The initiative hopes to combat depopulation.

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Those interested in applying must be 40 years old or under and move to the region within 90 days of their application being accepted. 

They must also launch a business or find employment in a sector that needs more workers. This includes restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts and shops. 

Lounge on unspoilt beaches in Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is known for its beaches.
Sardinia is known for its beaches.Canva

The Italian island of Sardinia is offering people €15,000 to relocate there.

Known for its sandy beaches, blue skies and turquoise waters, the Mediterranean idyll faces dwindling rural population numbers, as young locals move abroad for work.

To combat this exodus, the government has set aside over €45 million for the relocation grant, enough to cover 3,000 grants.

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To be eligible for the grant, you will have to move to a Sardinian municipality with a population of less than 3,000 people.

The money must also be used to buy or renovate a home. The grant cannot exceed half of the total cost of the house or renovation - meaning, in some cases, the €15,000 sum will be reduced.

Recipients must live there full time, and must register for permanent residency in Sardinia within 18 months of arrival.

Another Sardinian initiative sees the commune of Ollolai welcome remote workers with three months' free rent.

Go off grid on a remote island in Ireland

You can get paid to move to a remote Irish island.
You can get paid to move to a remote Irish island.Canva

Ireland is offering generous cash incentives to people willing to move to one of the nation’s remote islands.

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The initiative is part of the government's 'Our Living Islands' policy, which aims to boost the population of 30 communities not linked to the mainland by bridges and cut off by the tides.

As part of the project, Ireland’s government will pay over €80,000 to new residents of offshore communities.

Prospective residents need to purchase and own a property on one of the islands. The building must have been constructed before 1993 and been vacant for a minimum of two years.

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