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The state of the Countryside
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The 20% of the rural population on this map are considered the most disadvantaged in Wales.
The most significant areas of highest deprivation in Wales exist in the former industrial areas of the south. But the map also shows that small pockets of comparable disadvantage also exist in rural areas. A recent report by the House of Commonsí Welsh Affairs committee found that rural Wales suffers from an acute lack of stable jobs with good wages. The MPs said that the twin effects of a crisis in agriculture pricing and a "disastrous decline" in farm incomes had had "a knock-on effect on the whole rural economy". Secondly, the MPs said that benefit take-up remains low in Wales because of two factors: Information is difficult to come by and there is a "perceived stigma" attached to claiming benefits in some small communities.