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NIDI 50 • Regional growth and decline • 1997

8 June 2021

A 1999 study concluded that population growth in the European Union has slowed considerably over the foregoing years and future growth will probably be no faster than it was in the past. It was expected that in the first quarter of the 21st century, the population of most countries would continue to increase. At the subnational level, however, a growing number of regions would face a declining population. Eastern Germany and large parts of Italy and Spain, in particular, are expected to suffer from ‘depopulation’. The strongest decline in residents, by 19 per cent until 2025, is expected in Alentejo, Portugal.

In order to maintain, among other things, an adequate level of regional services for residents of a given area, a municipality needs to be able to anticipate properly the consequences of this development. It is therefore important that we know the underlying causes of the depopulation: is it a result of negative natural growth, negative net migration, or both, and what are the differences, if any, in regional socioeconomic characteristics? All these questions were addressed using the results of Eurostat’s most recent national and regional population scenarios. These scenarios, compiled in 1997 in a joint project of NIDI and Statistics Netherlands, include 204 regions of the European Union.

Also view a corresponding VIDEO on childhood internal mobility  

In 2020 we celebrated our 50th anniversary as the national demographic institute of the Netherlands. Here we look back at 50 years of NIDI research and relate that to our current research. We present insights and landmarks from some of the studies that have been conducted in the past, combined with short videos of early career scholars at NIDI, presenting current research projects on similar topics.

Back to: NIDI 50 Years • Cross sections of population research

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