Volume 10, Issue 1, 2018

Authors: Luca SALVATI


Demographic structures have undergone important transformations driven by economic cycles because of population movements and spatially-variable patterns of fertility and mortality. Understanding the latent relationship between changes over time in population structure and sequential waves of expansion and recession is a relevant issue in economic demography. In this regard, the recent history of southern European countries, and especially of Greece, is representative of consecutive economic expansions and recessions. The present study aims at investigating relevant modifications in population structure across Greek regions between 1988 and 2016 using a multi-temporal factor analysis. Being characterized by a relatively young population with traditional family structures, out-migration and moderate immigration up to the late 1980s, Greek demography shifted towards ageing, mononuclear families and a rising immigration rate during the early 2000s economic expansion, with an overall increase of resident population. The subsequent 2007 recession has represented a turning point in Greek demography, consolidating changes in traditional family structures, while stimulating out-migration to northern and western European countries and reducing immigration from developing countries. A diachronic analysis of population structures at sub-national scale indicates a substantial heterogeneity of demographic processes across Greek regions. Metropolitan areas and highly accessible coastal and flat districts including islands experienced rapid population dynamics, while peripheral rural regions underwent a moderate population ageing. Taken together, these processes had a short-term, synergic impact on Greek demographic structure determining a rapid increase in the median population age with possibly negative consequences for the ability of the country's economy to recover from crisis.

Key words: economic crisis, regional demography, multi-temporal factor analysis, Europe.

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