DEMIFER: Demographic and Migratory Flows Affecting European Regions and Cities

Co-Investigator: John Stillwell

Overview: This project assessed the demographic future of Europe’s regions (287 NUTS II) and the implications for regional development, the labour force, population ageing and regional inequality. The demographic projections used an innovative, hierarchical, multi-regional projection model for the half century 2010 to 2050, which incorporated assumptions about regional fertility, mortality and migration at three spatial scales: between regions within each EU country, between EU countries and between the EU and the Rest of the World. Reference projections were implemented to assess the impact of external migration; policy scenarios were designed to assess the impact of different policy pathways on regional and national populations. The policy scenarios captured the choice of market orientation versus social solidarity and economic/environmental success versus failure. The 2050 population of the EU could vary between ~500 and ~600 million depending on the scenario. Regional inequality persisted under all scenarios but the distribution of the population by regional well-being levels improved. A report on the relationship between regional population change and climate change identified regions of concern and suggested adaptive strategies. Case studies provided detail of the operation of demographic and migratory processes for regions representative of demographic types in a Europe wide classification.

Funder: European Commission through the ESPON Programme (European Spatial Planning Observatory Network)