Journal section "Regional economics"

Small Towns in the Spatial Structure of Regional Population Distribution

Makarova M.N.

Volume 10, Issue 2, 2017

Makarova M.N. Small Towns in the Spatial Structure of Regional Population Distribution. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2017, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 181-194. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.2.50.10

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.2.50.10

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article discusses the role of small towns in the spatial structure of the regional population. The purpose for the study is to assess the irregularity of spatial distribution of urban population in the Sverdlovsk Oblast and substantiate the prospects for regional distribution system dynamics by using the methods of mathematical modeling. The author analyzes various domestic and foreign theoretical and methodological approaches to analyzing spatial disparities in deployment of economic potential and human capital throughout regions and countries. The author’s approach is to apply the methodological tools of Zipf’s law, which proved its effectiveness during the study of urban population dynamics in the works of both foreign and domestic scholars, to study trends and prospects for demographic development in the Sverdlovsk Oblast. The research has helped reveal actual and ideal Zipf’s distribution for towns of the Sverdlovsk Oblast during 1989–2015. Based on the methodology the author calculates the values of optimal population in the towns of the Sverdlovsk Oblast in each period and concludes that over the past 25 years the deviation of actual distribution from Zipf’s distribution has decreased. It has been revealed that the largest city of the region – Yekaterinburg, has already exhausted the opportunities for increasing the number of its residents. It has also been proved that small towns are population donors for the growth of medium and large towns in the Sverdlovsk Oblast not only in the current period, but also in the future. The specified role of small towns in the spatial distribution of urban population in the region is one of the factors generating intense intraregional migration flows. The author concludes that the regional policy of attracting population to medium and large towns of the region and restraining of the expansion of Yekaterinburg considering continuous depopulation of small towns. The obtained results may be used by the experts for justifying measures on management of the region’s socio-demographic and spatial development


small towns, population, zipf’s law, spatial distribution, socio-demographic development, development disparities, sverdlovsk oblast

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