This paper presents an overview of past and current debates over the conceptualization of migration into rural areas – counterurbanization. First, it starts with the history of the term itself leading us from its original use to contemporary plurality of its meanings. The key issues in the process of defining counterurbanization are examined in the light of historical development of the term. The article illustrates the shift of counterurbanization research from the study of settlement system to the study of local dimension of counterurbanization and finally to the discursive production of counterurbanization. Secondly, the contemporary residential decentralization in the Czech Republic and the theoretical framing of counterurbanization are linked together in order to discuss the relevance of counterurbanization research agenda in the Czech Republic. It concludes that new ways of approaching the migration into rural areas are needed.