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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Population Decline and Liveability: an Analysis of People in Communities

Principal researcher

Hans Elshof

Type of research

PhD research


Professor Leo van Wissen and Professor Clara H. Mulder

Summary of the project

Population declining areas in The Netherlands consist of a large variety of villages, towns, and neighbourhoods, or, communities. This variety comes forward in the population dynamics of these communities, but also in the quality of the living environment. The quality of the living environment is an individual’s assessment of its surroundings, and therefore a subjective matter. However, in order to design and evaluate policies in population declining areas, an instrument is needed which uses objective indicators to predict subjective liveability in small-scale areas. The development of such an instrument within a Geographical Information System will hold a pivotal spot in this research. The objective indicators will be determined by analysing a survey on the micro-level which holds subjective data on liveability and its objective indicators. In the spatial database the relationship between local population dynamics and liveability will be tested. Furthermore, the survey will be joined with the population register to investigate the relation between migration intentions and actual behaviour in population declining areas. From this analysis a group of people will be distilled who wanted to leave but did not do so. Finally, by using qualitative methods the reasons for this behaviour and possible coping behaviour will be looked into.



Last modified:01 December 2016 12.12 p.m.