Inspire Policy Making by Territorial Evidence
  • Territorial dynamics in Europe: Trends in population development

    to-no2-coverThe first number of ESPON Territorial Observation aims at giving policy makers and practitioners short and concise information on important new evidence related to dynamics of population development and migration in Europe and its regions.

    European demographic development is showing a number of positive trends which can contribute to a positive regional development. However, the territorial pattern is not always favourable for all parts of Europe and all types of regions.

    The intention is to support policy makers engaged with regional competitiveness and territorial cohesion in their considerations in the further policy process.

    The ESPON Territorial Observation concludes with a summary of 13 key points, among them are:

    • Regions with growing population both due to the positive natural and migratory balance expanded considerably from 1996-1999 to 2001-2005.
    • Regions facing depopulation are in decrease. The main challenge of depopulation seems to concentrate in regions in the Eastern and Northern parts of Europe.
    • Migration plays a key role for population growth in Europe and has counterbalanced the impact of a negative natural population development in many regions.
    • A trend of East-West polarisation of the pattern of demographic development is visible in 2001-2005, mostly due to negative migration balance in Eastern Europe.

    ESPON Territorial Observation No.1 on dynamics of population development and migration in Europe and its regions, including the maps are available below.

    Should you have questions regarding the Territorial Observation, please do not hesitate to contact the ESPON Coordination Unit at

    Name Type Size
    TO No 1 November 2008 PDF 9.57 MB
    Press Release PDF 31.97 KB
    Map 1 PDF 778.01 KB
    Map 2 PDF 776.98 KB
    Map 3 PDF 777.66 KB
    Map 4 PDF 777.34 KB
    Map 5 PDF 776.38 KB
    Map 6 PDF 851.23 KB
    Map 7 PDF 737.82 KB
    Map 8 PDF 244.88 KB
    Population Development Data XLS 304.50 KB