Internal migration after communism: spatial population dynamics in the Czech Republic, 1989-2007

Virginie Piguet, INRA UMR 1041 CESAER
Jana Vobecka, Vienna Institute of Demography

The aim of the paper is to determine the dynamics of the post-communist spatial population structure during the two decades of transformation after 1989 revolutions, paying special attention to the Czech Republic. The analysis focuses on internal migration as the main driver of spatial population dynamics. It discusses the structure, determinants, and temporal change of internal migration and its consequences on the population structure in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. We use full-sample register data on internal migration flows and data on socio-economic characteristics of municipalities. This unique, previously unexplored, dataset allows us to analyse the social and age structure of migrants at a very detailed geographical scale (municipalities). Using gravity regression models we find that suburbanisation has only recently become the main factor influencing spatial distribution of the Czech population. Results show that higher educated people are more likely to move to suburban areas than those with lower education. The effect of age on destination choices is surprisingly low. However, internal migration flow intensities are smaller than in Western Europe and other developed countries. This may go in some way in explaining why the recent internal migration patterns have had only a small influence on the social and demographic structures of population across urban, suburban and rural areas.

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Presented in Session 55: Data issues of internal migration

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