A 'recipe for depopulation'? School closures and local population decline in Saxony

Barakat B (2015). A 'recipe for depopulation'? School closures and local population decline in Saxony. Population, Space and Place 21 (8): 735-753. DOI:10.1002/ps.1853.

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Abstract

A popular notion asserts that closing the last primary school marks a community's demographic death. No young parents will remain, much less new ones move in. This notion is frequently voiced but rarely verified. Are school closuresa cause or consequence of local decline? This study reviews existing research on school locations and peripheral population decline to show that expectations of a dramatic impact of school closures on out-migration are theoretically ill-founded. I proceed to discus specific methodological challenges in the empirical analysis of this relationship, and conduct a statistical analysis for the province of Saxony in East Germany for the period 1994-2007. In contrast to the prevailing discourse, there is little evidence of an appreciable effect of primary school closures on local population decline. This negative finding is discussed in light of local contextual factors and general insights from population geography.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: depopulation; education; school location; school closure; internal migration
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: Population, Space and Place; 21(8):735-753 [November 2015] (Published online 6 May 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 11:06
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11347

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