The book presents an introductory information about demographic change in Central Europe. It is particularly targeted at practicioners and policy makers at local and regional level who deal with impacts of changing populations in their work. It presents an overview of population and policy development in Central Europe and provides a deeper insight into selected regions dealing with population shrinkage and population ageing. Demographic change is seen as an important challenge for sustainable development and social cohesion in many regions in Central Europe.
The overall purpose of this book is to analyse population development and policy in shrinking regions and cities in Central Europe. The book was developed as part of the ADAPT2DC project where it served as a departure point for related analyses and activities, but the authors are convinced that it can be further utilised by various national, regional and local stakeholders, planners and policy makers, who deal with the consequences of demographic change in their everyday praxis. The depiction of the demographic situation in the regions in Central Europe was a precondition for subsequent analyses, including a comparative statistical analysis of infrastructure and service costs in Central Europe, microeconomic analyses of selected samples of infrastructure in pilot regions, and an analysis of opinions of stakeholders in the regions, etc. The book also served as the basis for the development of evidence-based policies that make planning and management of social and economic development more efficient and thus more resilient to development volatilities such as an economic crisis. This book includes: a) background statistical analysis of shrinking regions in Central Europe (chapter 1), b) definitions of shrinking regions at i) the NUTS 3 level and ii) at the sub-regional level (chapter 2), c) analysis of policy documents (chapter 3) and d) case studies of pilot regions (chapter 4). The territorial coverage of this book is the Central Europe area6 and its regions. The area includes the relatively heterogeneous group of former state socialist countries and western countries with market economies. The time frame used in the book is the last 10-20 years.