European regional populations: current trends, future pathways and policy options

P.H. Rees, N.L. van der Gaag, J.A.A. de Beer, F. Heins

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Europe is currently experiencing an ageing population and slowing population growth of both the total and working-age populations. These trends are likely to continue. Even though population ageing will affect all European regions, different regions will be affected in different ways. Even under favorable conditions, 35–40 % of all NUTS2 regions will face a labor force decline. If economic conditions are poor, some regions may continue to grow, but 55–70 % of the regions will see a labor force decline by 10 % or more. In most regions of Eastern Europe, the labor force may decrease by more than 30 %. To keep regions prosperous (maintaining competitiveness) and to avoid worse inequality (maintaining cohesion), policy-makers must find ways to cope with these challenges through new fiscal and social policies, though policies directly affecting demographic and migratory trends may also be needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-416
JournalEuropean Journal of Population - Revue Européenne de Population
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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