Calabria is the latest Italian destination to offer financial incentives to digital nomads and other foreign entrepreneurs who move there.
The region, located in warm and beautiful southwest Italy, has suffered a dramatic decline in its population in recent years, with over 75% of its towns now listing fewer than 5,000 residents. Several towns have dwindled to fewer than 2000 inhabitants.
According to government officials, some communities could completely die out if the trend isn’t reversed.
To stop the bleeding, Calabria has introduced a program that pays young professionals up to €28,000, which is around $33,000, to relocate there and put up a shingle.
To qualify for the program, new residents have to be 40 years old or younger, agree to start a business and be ready to move to Italy within 90 days of their application being approved.
Successful applicants will receive payments of between €800 and €1000 per month for up to three years while they work in gorgeous locales and soak up the local culture.
Calabria isn’t the only Italian region offering enticing incentives to newcomers.
Abruzzo, Milano, Sardinia and Sicily are selling fixer-upper homes for as little as €1 to buyers who agree to renovate them, which could be a great deal for digital nomads with fierce DIY skills.
In addition, the towns of Santa Fiora and Rieti are offering €200 rent vouchers to digital nomads who set up shop within their borders.
According to a study by international health and life insurance company William Russell, towns that pay professionals to move there are typically hoping to stimulate their economy, boost their population or renovate area housing.
Digital nomads are the perfect target for such schemes because of their ability to work from anywhere and their combined global economic value of nearly $789 billion.
They’re also coveted because of their increasing numbers.
Research by MBO Partners found that the number of U.S. remote workers increased by nearly 50% from 2019 to 2020.
While that spike was largely fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, experts predict the American mobile workforce will continue to grow even after the pandemic ends, reaching a total population of nearly 94 million workers by 2024.