Looking across the map of the EU, both policy and empirical observation can very usefully recognise a distinction between urban and rural areas. This distinction is more marked as regards some fields of change, notably employment change and retirement migration, than for others, and can be extended to provide a gradation of several types from urban to rural. This chapter asks how extensive and systematic the gradation might be. In fact the hypothesis of ‘counterurbanisation’ is less regularly applicable on an international basis than in the recent past; notably, half of the ‘functional urban regions’ of Western Europe have gained population since 1980, while the most remote sub-regions of the EU are still suffering out-migration. This chapter looks at the ingredients of the process of ‘urban-rural shift’, including the location of small business growth, before concluding with the topic of ongoing EU trends and policy.