Economic downturns and compositional effects in regional population structures by age: a multi-temporal analysis in Greek regions, 1981–2017

  • Federico Benassi
  • Luca SalvatiEmail author


Population movements (international and internal migration) and changing fertility and mortality patterns have significantly affected demographic structures. Investigation of the relationship between (evolving) population structures and economic downturns is a key issue in economic demography. Analysis of compositional changes in regional population structures over a sufficiently long time interval may provide an informed knowledge to better understanding of this relationship and the underlying socioeconomic context in European countries. Based on these premises, Greece was considered a paradigmatic case of sequential economic expansions and recessions, impacting the structure of resident population in the last four decades. In this work, changes over time in population structures by age in Greek regions were explored (1981–2017) using a multi-temporal principal component analysis. A diachronic analysis of compositional effects of economic downturns on regional population structures indicates spatially-heterogeneous demographic processes in Greece. The subsequent recession has represented a turning point in Greek demography, consolidating changes in traditional family structures, while stimulating out-migration at younger ages to Northern and Western European regions and containing immigration from developing countries. Metropolitan areas and coastal districts had more rapid population dynamics, while peripheral rural regions experienced more rapid changes towards aging. Population aging had a short-term impact on regional population structures in Greece, with possibly negative consequences for the ability of the country’s economy to recover from crisis.


Economic crisis Regional analysis Economic demography Multi-temporal factor analysis Europe 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of CR within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), Grant Number LO1415.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)ArezzoItaly
  3. 3.Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of SciencesCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic

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