Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 4

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Regional divergence dynamics in the Baltic region: Towards polarisation or equalization?

Gennady M. Fedorov, Andrey S. Mikhaylov

Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 4, pp. 399-411
doi: I


Regional socio-economic inequality is a major threat of instability in northeast Europe. The polarisation-equalization dynamics has a direct influence over the distribution of population, industry, financial resources, environmental load, and other domains of the Baltic region. The research scope covers an area of nine countries,including the Baltic coast of Germany, Poland, and north-western Russia. Official data of Eurostat and Rosstat are used to evaluate the relationship between a number of statistical indicators over a period of 2000‑2016. Research results reveal an inverse correlation between the volume of GRP per capita generated and the rate of its increase, as well as between GRP per capita and population change. A less significant direct correlation between population density and the rate of population increase found. Results emphasise cross-country differences in polarisation and equalization processes and stress that the population of the Baltic region is increasingly concentrating in capital cities. The latter is especially evident in countries with a relatively small population size. An important factor affecting the development of international cooperation in the Baltic region andnational economic growth is the high economic growth rates in the less economically developed countries. The article puts forward arguments in favour of regional equalization and advocates against polarisation strategy, including special measures to stimulate growth of urban agglomerations.

Keywords: inequality dynamics, regional divergence, polarisation, equalization, Baltic region

Gennady M. Fedorov [], Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University A. Nevskogo 14, 236016, Kaliningrad: Russian Federation
Andrey S. Mikhaylov [], Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University A. Nevskogo 14, 236016, Kaliningrad: Russian Federation