Local population decline in rural North-Netherlands

Hans Elshof

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Population decline has become increasingly present in some rural regions in the Netherlands over the last few decades. The results of this study showed that inhabitants especially experience tangible aspects of population decline. The loss of many different kinds of services were mentioned frequently and related to liveliness in the village which had diminished as compared to times when there were more services. The closure of private services, such as shops, was met with feelings of regret, but also with a sense of inevitability and acquiescence, because the participants understood that the former owners had been unable to continue their businesses.

    The study also concluded that the possible self-reinforcing process of local population decline in North-Netherlands may indeed be present, but that it evolves slowly. The large majority of people does not move. These stayers are capable of coping with the consequences of decline, as they have time to adapt to these consequences.

    Furthermore, it was found that the effects of primary school absence or closure only partly fitted the hypothesized negative effect on inward flows and positive effect on outward flows of families with school-aged children. In fact, inward flows of families in villages without a primary school were similar to the inward flows in villages with a primary school. The hypothesis that villages without a primary school attract fewer families with children than villages with a primary school was therefore not supported.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • van Wissen, Leonardus, Supervisor
    • Mulder, Clara H., Supervisor
    • Haartsen, Tialda, Supervisor
    Award date29-May-2017
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-9828-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9827-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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