European Regional Population Decline and Policy Responses: Three Case Studies

R. Galjaard, L.J.G. van Wissen, K.I.M. van Dam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Universal processes related to the demographic transition to structural low fertility on the one hand, and economic geographic processes of concentration and urbanization on the other lead to regional population decline in most European countries. Due to this universal nature of the underlying processes policies aimed at dealing with them share substantial similarities. At the same time, the regional context is very important as well. This paper aims to give more insight into and reflections on policies dealing with population decline in three European regions: Northeast Scotland, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and Brandenburg. Each region has experienced population decline, but in different regional and national contexts. Policy responses between the regions differed. Each of the regions has experienced some form of structural change that was triggered by external developments. Demography has reacted to these changes primarily through migration. Moreover, there are strong internal differences in growth and decline within these regions. One of the main conclusions is that the role of national policies has been substantial. The more successful regional policies were supported strongly by national policies. Moreover, policies have primarily affected liveability in the regions, but not population decline as such.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalBuilt Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • regional
  • population decline


Dive into the research topics of 'European Regional Population Decline and Policy Responses: Three Case Studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this