SEMIGRA - Selective Migration and Unbalanced Sex Ratio in Rural Regions

Thematic scope

Many rural and economically weak regions in Europe are affected by demographic shrinkage and selective migration. Evidence suggests that especially young and highly educated women are among those leaving peripheral regions, resulting in an unbalanced population base. This is believed to have a negative effect on the liveability, attractiveness and the competitiveness of areas. The outmigration of young adults is regarded as both a cause and an indicator for economic and social fragility.

Against this background the SEMIGRA project seeks to identify the main reasons and consequences of selective migration in rural regions.

The aim of the project is to develop strategies for territorial development in order to deal with selective migration and to stabilize demographic and social development.

Please read more about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged.


  • Ministry for Regional Development and Transport, Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (Lead Stakeholder)
  • Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency Non-profit Ltd., Hungary
  • NORDA Regional Development Agency of North Hungary Non-profit Ltd. Liability Company, Hungary
  • Joint Authority of Kainuu Region, Finland
  • County Administrative Board of Västernorrland, Sweden

Lead Partner

Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Budget: € 335 586.00

Project’s lifetime: September 2010 – August 2012

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 2 March 2011
Interim Report: 30 September 2011
Draft Final Report: 30 March 2012
Final Report: 31 May 2012


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:
Ann-Gritt PANNENBORG (NEUSE), e-mail: [email protected]

Main areas of analysis

The project contains two main analytical dimensions: on a general level estimating the impact of unbalanced sex ratio structures in the context of the EU cohesion policy and on a more specific level enhancing strategy building on a regional and local level.

  • Identification of similarities and differences between regions affected by selective migration.
  • In-depth analysis of the five case study regions.
  • Developing analytical support for strategy building and policy making.
  • Dissemination, communication and transfer of research results.

Main results envisaged

  • Consolidating findings on the impact of gender-related courses of actions, methods, and procedures on regional development.
  • Insights in tacit knowledge and the potential of human capital in the case study regions in regard to the needs of young adults.
  • Knowledge of potentials and fragilities of rural regions with unbalanced sex ratio structures in relation to European cohesion policies.


Final Report

  • Zip archive | 19.30MB

Draft Final Report

  • Zip archive | 20.19MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 7.21MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.16MB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 76KB