From Boom to Recession and, Then, to Post-Crisis: How Do Economic Cycles Impact on Mobility and Demographic Trends in Large Urban Areas? The Spanish Case in the European Context

Fernando Gil-Alonso , Universitat de Barcelona
Cristina López Villanueva, Universitat de Barcelona
Jordi Bayona-i-Carrasco, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), UAB
Isabel Pujadas, Universitat de Barcelona

The strong economic growth period that Spain underwent from the mid-1990s suddenly ended in 2008, when the impact of the Great Recession reached the Spanish economy. As the ‘real estate bubble’ burst, many housing developments remained unfinished and millions of workers were laid off. This did not only affect international migration (highly positive migratory growth became negative) but it also had consequences on residential mobility –suburbanization flows decreased and urban centres became more attractive. After a deep economic crisis, in 2014, Spain starts to show signs of recovery. Despite this improvement has not reached the entire population, it has had a positive impact on the housing market, activity and employment. Residential mobility has also grown, having important socioeconomic, demographic and residential implications. However, simultaneously –and this is our hypothesis– flows have become more unstable, more complex and more fragmentary. In other words, the direction of the flows, the reasons for moving, the socioeconomic categories and ages of migrants have diversified. These “new mobilities” are demographically reconfiguring large Spanish urban areas. The paper aims to study changes on mobility and demographic trends in large urban areas in the post-crisis period. Initially, the five large Spanish urban areas (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao) are analysed using "Padrón Continuo" (municipal register) and "Estadística de Variaciones Residenciales" (residential variation statistics) datasets. Then, results obtained for the Spanish case are compared to other EU urban areas, using Eurostat’s Urban Audit as the main source.

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 Presented in Session 60. Urbanization and Mortality