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An incredibly detailed map of Europe’s population shifts

Jun 23, 2015 | News

(23 June 2015) – Since the turn of the millennium, Europe has been undergoing some pretty intense demographic change. This has been is revealed in a new map created by BBSR, Germany’s Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development. It is the first map ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities.

According to BBSR, the map provides a level of detail previously unavailable, as it is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities. The results are impressively comprehensive and reveal a few surprises.

The dark blue colouring of the map’s Eastern section shows that the lean years for Eastern states are by no means over. Residents have continued to leave Albania, Bulgaria and Latvia in particular in search of jobs, while even relatively wealthy eastern Germany has been hollowed out almost everywhere except the Berlin region.

Population growth in the Northwest, meanwhile, is far from even. While large sections of Northern Scandinavia’s inland are losing people, there’s still modest growth on the Arctic coasts. And while the Scottish Highlands contain some the least peopled lands in all of Europe, Scotland’s Northeast shows remarkable population gains, a likely result of the North Sea oil industry concentrated in Aberdeen.

Spain’s trends look a little different from those of Europe as a whole. It’s actually in the country’s Northwest where the population has dropped most sharply, notably in the regions of Galicia and León. But other previously impoverished regions, such as South-Western Murcia, have grown, a trend continuing along the Mediterranean coast where population levels have risen sharply. One reason for this is that the coasts are magnets for retiring or downsizing North-Western Europeans who move here on the hunt for daily sunshine and low prices. (CityLab)

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