It is widely accepted that, in today’s developed countries, "rural" no longer equals "agricultural." However, few historical studies of modern occupational change in the countryside are available, especially for continental Europe. The transformation of rural Spain in the twentieth century is a case study in this broader history, reflecting upon the causes and implications of different paths of rural change. The decline of agriculture in the economy of rural Spain occurred mostly during the second half of the twentieth century and was closely related to out-migration and depopulation. Only some rural areas in the country’s more dynamic regions witnessed simultaneous occupational change and population growth. Most rural communities, on the contrary, had to face the erosive effect of depopulation on their social fabric.