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Population growth and the economic crisis: understanding latent patterns of change in Greece, 2002–2016

Luca Salvati ()
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Luca Salvati: Council of Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)

Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, 2018, vol. 11, issue 2, 105-126

Abstract: Abstract Recent population dynamics in Europe have been influenced by multifaceted processes, including the second demographic transition, international migration, and rising counter-urbanization driven by economic crisis. Using a data mining framework, the present study investigates population growth and decline (2002–2016) in 51 prefectures with the aim to assess how economic cycles have influenced population dynamics along the urban gradient in Greece. Spatial patterns of population growth diverged along the study period in two homogeneous time windows reflecting economic expansion (2002–2007) and recession (2008–2016). Population increased during expansion in areas with urban centers hosting upper economic functions (university, international airport) far away from the Greek capital. During recession, population increased in coastal areas with tourism specialization, medium–low population density and moderate accessibility. Income levels and changes over time had no influence on population re-distribution over Greek prefectures, indicating a substantial decoupling of demographic growth from income growth. Although persistent density gaps are still observed in Greece, a moderate redistribution of population was observed during recession along a spatial gradient from economically-strong mainland areas to medium- and low-density coastal districts concentrating tourism activities. These findings outline how recent spatial re-distribution of Greek population was driven by distinct socioeconomic factors. Evidence of our study support further investigation on the role of economic cycles in present and future population trends at regional and local scales.

Keywords: Spatial disparities; Demography; Multivariate analysis; Mediterranean (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N9 O18 P25 R11 R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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