5 Examples of Depopulation Explained

Examples of depopulation are; Japanese population decline; rural depopulation in Spain, Russian population decline. urbanization-induced depopulation in the Alps, and population decline in rural England.

This article discusses the examples of depopulation, as follows;



1). Japanese Population Decline (as one of the Examples of Depopulation)

The republic of Japan is losing its population as a result of increasingly-low marriage rates over the years.

This is compounded by relatively-high mortality and migration rates [4].

Estimates place Japan among the countries with most severe cases of depopulation, sometimes having a population loss rate of up to 0.55% in a single year.

As a result of depopulation, the mean age of the Japanese population is high, at over 48 years [3].

Another point of severity is the fact that depopulation in this country is not specifically urban or rural, but is both universal and transitional.

In the absence of any proactive steps to resolve the issue, it is projected that Japan’s depopulation crisis may worsen in the coming years.

The cause of depopulation in Japan may be generally traced to socioeconomic factors.

Examples of Depopulation: Japanese Population Decline (Credit: Jecowa 2006 .CC BY-SA 3.0.)
Examples of Depopulation: Japanese Population Decline (Credit: Jecowa 2006 .CC BY-SA 3.0.)



2). Rural Depopulation in Spain

The Spanish regions of Aragon, Teruel, and Castile and León, which stretch from North-East, North-West and beyond, have experienced significant depopulation in recent years [7].

Some estimates suggest that up to 70% of Spain is uninhabited due to major demographic shifts, although this value is not widely corroborated.

The main factor causing depopulation in Spain is industrialization; which has so far been accomplished by socioeconomically-motivated migration and lower birth rates [8].

Rural areas are most affected because these are centers from which the largest scale of such migrations occurs.

In recent decades, global economic challenges, including low wages, price inflation, and unemployment have helped to increase the rate of depopulation in Spain.



3). Russian Population Decline (as one of the Examples of Depopulation)

The last few decades have been characterized by continuous population decline in Russia.

Latest possible clear traces of this decline date back to 1991, and include evidence of consistent human resource depletion [6].

Some reports have estimated the Russian population decline in early 2022 to be approximately 430,000 [9].

In the year 2000, up to 958.5 thousand members of the Russian population are estimated to have been lost, in one of the largest short-term depopulation scenarios of the country [2].

Depopulation in Russia over the years is a result of a multitude of issues including low birth rate; high mortality, and socioeconomic challenges like regional unemployment and conflict.



4). Urbanization-Induced Depopulation in the Alps

The Alpine regions of Europe have experienced multiple demographic shifts in recent years, which have involved notable levels of population decline.

Depopulation in the Alps has been driven primarily by urban development in some areas, especially the low-lying regions bordering the Alps itself [1].

While there has not been any major consistent pattern, population decline in this region has been continuous, leading to repetitive, demographic redistribution, with the overall effect being a steady decline in population size around the least urbanized areas.



5). Population Decline in Rural England (as one of the Examples of Depopulation)

Depopulation in England and Wales has been a continuous occurrence that dates back as far as the nineteenth century [5].

Generally, the main cause of depopulation in rural areas is urban industrialization and its associated economic opportunities.

In England and Wales, depopulation can be traced to this among other factors that span across environmental and socioeconomic contexts.

While the pace of incipient urban expansion and industrialization have become less-rapid, rural depopulation is still a factor in this region, and is currently being fueled by economic dynamics.





Examples of depopulation are;

1. Japanese Population Decline

2. Rural Depopulation in Spain

3. Russian Population Decline

4. Urbanization-Induced Depopulation in the Alps

5. Population Decline in Rural England





1). Batzing, W.; Perlik, M.; Dekleva, M. (1996). “Urbanization and Depopulation in the Alps.” Mountain Research and Development 16(4):335-50. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2307/3673985. (Accessed 16 December 2022).

2). Dunay, P. (2021). “Russia’s Economic Engagement: Realities, Pitfalls, and Perils.” in Russia’s Global Reach: A Security and Statecraft Assessment, ed. Graeme P. Herd (Garmisch-Partenkirchen: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, 2021). Available at: https://www.marshallcenter.org/en/publications/marshall-center-books/russias-global-reach/chapter-12-russias-economic-engagement-realities-pitfalls-and-perils, 101-108. (Accessed 18 December 2022).

3). Huynh, T. (2021). “The Effect of Population Aging on the Japanese Economy and Society: A Case of Vietnam.” In Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sustainable Development of Regional Infrastructure (ISSDRI 2021), pages 375-380. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5220/0010590903750380. (Accessed 18 December 2022).

4). Inoue, T.; Koike, S.; Yamauchi, M.; Ishikawa, T. (2021). “Exploring the impact of depopulation on a country’s population geography: Lessons learned from Japan.” Population Space and Place 28(3). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2543. (Accessed 17 December 2022).

5). Lawton, R. (1973). “Rural Depopulation in Nineteenth Century England.” In: Mills, D.R. (eds) English Rural Communities. Palgrave, London. . Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-15516-3_10. (Accessed 16 December 2022).

6). Pant, H. (2017). “Russia’s Demographic trajectory: dimensions and implications.” Available at: https://www.orfonline.org/research/russias-demographic-trajectory-dimensions-and-implications/?amp. (Accessed 17 December 2022).

7). Ruiz, A. F.; Cañizares, M. C. (2020). “Enhancing the Territorial Heritage of Declining Rural Areas in Spain: Towards Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches.” Land 9(7):216. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/land9070216. (Accessed 18 December 2022).

8). Viñas, C. D. (2019). “Depopulation Processes in European Rural Areas: A Case Study of Cantabria (Spain).” European Countryside 11(3):341-369. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2478/euco-2019-0021. (Accessed 17 December 2022).

9). Voronin, D. (2022). “Russia’s Population Decline Hits Record Rate.” Available at: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/07/29/russias-population-decline-hits-record-rate-a78437. (Accessed 18 December 2022).

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