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Sławomir Kurek (2008)

Spatial Disparities in the Changes in the Population Age Structure of Poland in the Context of the Second Demographic Transition*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 33, 3-4/2008, p. 271-292, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398, DOI: 10.1007/s12523-009-0017-2

Abstract: In Poland, as in other Central and Eastern European countries, the changes connected with the second demographic transition went hand-in-hand with the establishment of democracy and the profound social transformation to a free market economy. However, the pace of these changes, such as fertility decline, the postponement of childbearing, the fall in the marriage rates, the re-orientation of migration flows and the rapid population ageing, are varied spatially depending on the region’s function and locality (e.g. industrial and agricultural or core and peripheral). The purpose of this study is to show the contemporary and future spatial disparities in the changes in the population age structure in Polish districts (NUTS 4) resulting from rapid fertility decline, as well as from the reduction in mortality among the elderly, and in the volume and direction of population migration in the period of the second demographic transition (SDT). The analysis was conducted from an urban and rural, and also from a regional perspective, showing spatial variations in population ageing and its correlation with the SDT indicators in particular regions. The study also shows the importance of geographical space in the speed and magnitude of population ageing, as well as in the timing and pace of the second demographic transition. Finally, the spatial challenges for social and population policy in the demographic re-structuring of the population are identified.

* peer-reviewed article

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