The Process of Depopulation in Central and Eastern Europe – Determinants and Causes of Population Change between 2008 and 2019
Purpose: The countries from Central and Eastern Europe will be one of the fastest depopulating areas of the world in the next few decades. In general, population growth or decline is the result of natural events (births and deaths) and permanent migration (foreign and internal). Hence, the purpose of this article is to analyze demographic data affecting population change in Central and Eastern Europe. Design/Methodology/Approach: The authors have adopted the hypothesis according to which natural processes are the main cause of population change in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe while migration contributes less and less to the population decline in the regions under the study. The methodology is based on the indicator analysis and soft model. The source of statistical data is Eurostat and statistical offices of individual countries. Findings: The hypothesis of the article was verified positively. Firstly, vast majority of Central and Eastern European regions experienced a decline in population in the period 2008 - 2019. Secondly, the estimation of the soft model allows to conclude that natural changes (parameter 0.5314) are far more responsible for the change in population in the studied regions than migration (parameter 0.2465). Practical Implications: The study's results draw the attention to the fact that migration is contributing less and less to the population decline in the regions in the studied area. Moreover, the analysis of the statistical data allows to assume that in the future, without increased intensity of immigration (especially external), the regions of Central and Eastern Europe will experience inevitable depopulation. Originality/value: The originality and value of the study are given by the fact that it examines one of the most crucial factors influencing development in the modern economy, i.e. demographic factors. Additionally, the analysis is conducted for Central and Eastern European countries for which depopulation is an extremely urgent problem.