Total population change is defined as the net change in residence population due to natural demographic (births, deaths) and migration (immigration, emigration) processes. A positive population change means a growing population number of a region, while negative population change means decreasing population.
The overall population stock is the main variable for provision and maintenance of public and private services and facilities. Increasing population requires to extend number and capacities of public and private services, while decreasing population may lead to reduced demands for such services, and will in the long run also negatively affect labour markets.
Looking at the longer time-span it is evident that population increase is taking place in the metropolitan areas of the western BSR, while cities in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are experiencing a population decrease (2008-2011). Those cities experiencing the most pronounced urbanization are Stockholm and Oslo, while large German cities experience a moderate increase. As for the regional analysis it is clear that Latvia and Lithuania are suffering from population decrease in this time period also in the urban areas. For Warsaw the analysis reveals that there is a negative trend for the period 2008-11, but a slight positive trend if 2012 is included, and hence there is a change taking place. Looking at St Petersburg and Minsk (as well as some other Belarussian cities) shows a positive population trend for the period all the way up to 2012. The longer time series (2008-2012) shows some decrease for smaller German cities, while the later years only (2010-2012) indicates that this trend is reversed in the later years. Unfortunately we don’t have data to perform a similar analysis for the Polish cities.