Unequally ageing regions of Europe: Exploring the role of urbanization

Ilya Kashnitsky*, Joop de Beer, Leo van Wissen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Since young adults tend to move from rural to urban regions, whereas older adults move from urban to rural regions, we may expect to see increasing differences in population ageing across urban and rural regions. This paper examines whether trends in population ageing across urban and rural NUTS-2 regions of the EU-27 have diverged over the period 2003–13. We use the methodological approach of convergence analysis, quite recently brought to demography from the field of economic research. Unlike classical beta and sigma approaches to convergence, we focus not on any single summary statistic of convergence, but rather analyse the whole cumulative distribution of regions. Such an approach helps to identify which specific group of regions is responsible for the major changes. Our results suggest that, despite expectations, there was no divergence in age structures between urban and rural regions; rather, divergence happened within each of the groups of regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 221-237
Number of pages17
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
Early online date23-Jul-2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • convergence in ageing
  • NEUJOBS urban–rural classification
  • NUTS-2
  • population ageing
  • regional cohesion
  • urbanization

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