Population decline: from subjective liveability to objective liveability

Hans Elshof, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Liveability is an important subject when it comes to population decline. It deals with the relationship between an individual and his or her living environment and is therefore a subjective matter. Collecting objective data on liveability is nonetheless of upmost importance in areas of population decline to develop and evaluate policies. Unfortunately, this information is not readily at hand in the Netherlands. Thus, an index in which liveability can be measured objectively has to be created. This paper describes the way in which such an index is constructed.More indicators on liveability have been developed, but none were specifically aimed at areas of population decline. In this index a distinction is made between urban and rural areas. This is done by analysing a survey which holds subjective as well as objective indicators of the living environment. In a regression model it is determined which objective indicators are predictors of subjective evaluations of the living environment, and to what extent. Furthermore, a division is made between the subjective liveability of people who have just moved, and people who have not moved for a long time. In a follow-up study of this research the instrument described above will be used to develop an index of liveability on a small-scale spatial level, so that liveability can be related to local population dynamics in a spatial database.

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Presented in Poster Session 1