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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Urban Population Development in Europe, 1991-2008: The Examples of Poland and the UK

Kabisch, Nadja; Haase, Dagmar; Haase, Annegret


Across Europe, there is a complex mosaic of urban population development. Characterized by great diversity and heterogeneity, this development does not follow a common pattern and cannot be attributed to specific regional trends (e.g. Eastern or Western European geographic location, or post-socialist, old industrial or developed capitalist economic models). In this article, we show how this mosaic can be explained, relating it to various driving forces and overarching processes. Using a multilevel approach and looking at the period 19912008, we identified various European city population growth or decline clusters; these indicated that urban population development does not necessarily follow strictly national lines. Further, we argue that similar clusters of growing and declining cities may occur within European countries as diverse as Poland and the UK. Overarching driving forces such as demographic change interfere with national specificity and the peculiarities of local settings. The most significant finding of this article is that overlapping driving forces currently lead in their interplay to diverging courses of urban population development on different spatial scales (and will probably continue to do so in future).


Population development; European cities; driving forces; Poland; UK

Published in

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
2012, Volume: 36, number: 6, pages: 1326-1348

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

    Publication Identifiers


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