Depopulation of rural areas in Poland: period 1950-2011
Ewa Fratczak, Warsaw School of Economics
Andrzej Galazka, Warsaw School of Economics
Objective The article deals with the issue of depopulation of rural areas in Poland in the periods between censuses (from 1950 to 2011). The depopulation issue is defined in the professional literature in various ways, therefore the article’s introduction presents an overview of population process, which from the demography perspective (natural and migration movement) can be considered problematic. Some of these problems are the way of measuring and analysing this phenomenon. For the purposes of this article we have assumed not only a definition of the depopulation phenomenon, but also a set of measures for its analysis. Apart from depopulation measures we have also used the basic demographic measures and indicators used in the analysis of demographic processes constituting natural and migration movements. Data and methods The analysis was based on the data from rural territorial units, that is rural municipalities and rural parts of rural-urban municipalities, gathered during national censuses from 1950, 1960, 1970, 1975, 1988, 2002, 2011 as well as the data from current public statistics for the period 1995-2013. In order to achieve the comparability of the abovementioned data over time and space, they were standardized according the administrative division from 1995. This step was necessary because of the small changes of the administrative division of municipalities introduced in Poland each year. In total, the analysis included information regarding 2168 territorial units and utilized the already mentioned methods of statistical analysis, as well as the graphical visualisations of the spatial relations existing in the studied phenomena, the so called choropleths.