Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Migration - Results / Key Messages

  • The concentration of BSR population continues to a large extent.
  • Urban sprawl is re-shaping many large urban areas in the BSR.
  • Only ten urban regions swallow 47 % of all migration surplus in the BSR.
  • The summarised loss due to out-migration in the BSR amounts in five years to a region like the Republic of Karelia being totally deserted, whereas every 2½ years, housing, roads, schools, business facilities, public transport, etc. equalling a city the size of Stockholm needs to be performed somewhere in the BSR.
  • Data shows unequivocally that in the entire BSR, regions with acknowledged territorial handicaps (sparse, border, rural, peripheral) are suffering worst in terms of population drainage through migration.
  • Regarding migration, SMESTO regions however have as a group not been affected by the financial downturn of 2008 as much as other urban areas. The economic slowdown some times acts as a balancing force between core and periphery.
  • Europe is the primary reference point for global BSR migration. This concerns both emigration from and immigration to the region.
  • The BSR displays a substantial integrative trend in intra-BSR migration flows. More people migrate between BSR countries than to the rest of Europe.
  • Migration in the BSR does not aid in the achievement of the overarching horizontal EU goal of territorial cohesion. Migration appears to strengthen both the east-west and the north-south divides of the BSR.
  • Most indications point towards a strengthening also of the urban-rural divide.
  • BSR migration also appears to counter effect the achievement of most overarching EU 2020 strategy goals, albeit regarding specifically poverty reduction, it could also be argued to the contrary.