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Population Dynamics in Southern Europe: A Local-Scale Analysis, 1961–2011

Ilaria Zambon (), Kostas Rontos (), Pere Serra (), Andrea Colantoni () and Luca Salvati ()
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Ilaria Zambon: Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis, 5, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy
Kostas Rontos: Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, Mytilene GR-81100, Greece
Pere Serra: Grumets Research Group, Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Barcelona, ES-08193 Barcelona, Spain
Andrea Colantoni: Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis, 5, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy
Luca Salvati: Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), I-52100 Arezzo, Italy

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 11, issue 1, 1-12

Abstract: Different socioeconomic, historical, political, and cultural factors have influenced long-term settlement patterns and demographic structures in Europe. Southern Europe is considered a relatively homogeneous region as far as settlement characteristics and population dynamics are concerned. Within-country local variability in the spatial distribution of population is high, and inherent differences across countries may outline distinct demographic patterns at regional scale. A comparative, local-scale analysis of population distribution in five countries (Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Cyprus) over a relatively long time period (1961–2011) contributes to identify latent demographic trends in Mediterranean Europe at the spatial scale of Local Administrative Units (LAU). A spatially-explicit analysis of basic indicators of population density and demographic change allows identification of territorial disparities, reflecting local-scale settlement patterns common to different countries (e.g., population growth along coastal districts). These patterns consolidate a metropolitan hierarchy centered on large—mainly compact—cities and more dispersed conurbations along coastal areas. At the same time, the examined countries present different territorial contexts resulting in distinct population dynamics in turn influenced by internal (e.g., national policies, culture and local identity, class segregation) and exogenous (e.g., economic cycle, urbanization models) factors. A spatially-explicit analysis of demographic trends at local scale may contribute to rethinking urban strategies and adapting spatial planning to heterogeneous socioeconomic contexts across Europe.

Keywords: territorial disparities; demographic trends; regional development; Southern Europe; Indicators (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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