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Internal Migration and Regional Population Dynamics in Europe: Czech Case Study

By M. Kupiszewski, D. Drbohlav, P. Rees and H. Durham


Report prepared for the Council of Europe (Directorate of Social and Economic Affairs, Population and Migration Division) and for European Commission (Directorate General V, Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs, Unit E1, Analysis and Research on the Social Situation) \ud Czech Republic has experienced, over the last decade, quite a balanced population system with low growth. This has changed recently and from 1994 we noted a decrease in population partially offset by international migration, for the time being mainly temporary labour circular movements. The decreasing trend may well continue due to future replacement in the reproductive ages of large female cohorts with much smaller cohorts, currently aged 0-15 years. Ales and Simek (1996) expect by the year 2020 a population decrease of at least 471 thousand (high variant). International migration will probably reduce to some extent the effect of negative natural increase. \ud In terms of population dynamics the most important feature we have observed is slow but clear deconcentration of population from large cities to suburban areas. \ud The main gains are observed in medium size towns and smaller communities at the expense of large cities and rural areas. However, the migration factor plays a lesser role than in the past. Net migration is low and migration effectiveness is very limited. The relationship between migration and other variables (population density, level of urbanisation) is rather weak. \ud Unemployment has limited negative impacts on migration flows. No doubt, this may change when the serious restructuring of industry starts and unemployment increases - an almost certain scenario given the Czech Republic's willingness to join the European Union. \ud The main enigma of the Czech migration system is its future dynamics. So far migration has been low, but with the development of the economy, including the housing market, improvement of telecommunication and increasing wealth of the society one may expect that migration trends would contribute much more to the regional population dynamics. \ud The large units for which migration data were available in the Czech Republic reduce the number of inter-unit migrations, increase the number of intra-unit migrations, and in effect blur the picture of mobility, which anyway is quite low. Another factor, which made the analysis somewhat difficult is the mixture of signals sent to the economy by the Czech government. This mixture has confused professional economists, not to speak of ordinary people. \u

Publisher: School of Geography
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:5034

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