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Natural Geography and Patterns of Local Population Growth and Decline in Spain: 1960–2011

Adelheid Holl ()

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 18, 1-21

Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of natural geography for explaining local population change patterns. Using spatially detailed data for Spain from 1960 to 2011, the estimation results indicated that natural geography variables relate to about half of the population growth variation of rural areas and more than a third of the population growth variation of urban areas during this period. Local differences in climate, topography, and soil and rock formation as well as distance to aquifers and the coast contribute to variations in local population growth patterns. Although, over time, local population change became less related to differences in natural geography, natural geography is still significantly related to nearly a third of the variation in local population change in rural areas and the contribution of temperature range and precipitation seasonality has even increased. For urban areas, weather continues to matter too, with growth being higher in warmer places.

Keywords: natural geography; population growth; rural; urban (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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