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The ageing of Europe: Demographic scenarios of Europe's futures

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi



This paper explores the demographic futures of Europe by presenting two scenarios. The ‘silver century’ scenario is based on the continuation of current demographic trends and policies. In this scenario, Europe's population will continue to age and immigration will be limited. As a result younger people will increasingly tend to concentrate in urban areas while the retirees, who are able, will settle in suburban and rural spaces. In the ‘open borders’ scenario, the EU and most of the member states will introduce an open and actively promoted immigration policy. Most immigrants will concentrate in large metropolitan areas. At the same time there will also be some countries and regions with very limited immigration from abroad. At the local scale immigration will contribute to social and spatial segregation. Hence, without the regulation or at least management of types and destinations of immigration, demographic imbalances will not be addressed at the regional level. Furthermore while the freedom of movement may have some macro-economic benefits and address population imbalances in some (mainly metropolitan) areas, pre-existent trends undermining both socio-economic cohesion and sustainable patterns of development are unlikely to be resolved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S, Wishardt M, Strange I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Futures

Year: 2010

Volume: 42

Issue: 8

Pages: 794-803

Print publication date: 21/04/2010

Date deposited: 08/09/2010

ISSN (print): 0016-3287

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6378

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2010.04.011

Notes: Special issue: Europe 2030: Territorial Scenarios Edited by Simin Davoudi and Ed Dammers


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