Rural areas near city centres show significant demographic, infrastructural and economic differences in relation to remote ones. This is especially pronounced in countries experiencing significant, often sudden political, economic and other changes in a short period of time. Having become independent in 1991, the Republic of Croatia had replaced planned economy with the market economy, undergone a five-year period of war and in 2013 it will become a full member of the European Union. Generally speaking, rural areas can be preserved only by dealing with difficulties emphasized by domicile inhabitants as an element of the quality of life. Thus, depopulation can be prevented and attractive conditions can be created in order to make these areas immigration targets. This paper describes a research on the satisfaction of inhabitants with life in the rural areas of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, the problems they are facing and measures of state support they consider necessary in solving major difficulties.
Key words: Rural area, urban centers, quality of life, Republic of Croatia.