Shrinking Population: Less Mobility?



Shrinking Population: Less Mobility?

Authors

P Jorritsma, L Harms, KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, NL; M de Jong, Delft University of Technology, NL

Description

In this paper we describe the mobility effects of shrinkage and growth of population in the Netherlands. The emphasis is on mobility differences at the regional level (COROP) and and the time horizon for the estimates is 2030.

Abstract

In the Netherlands several regions are confronted with a decline in population. This is mainly the case in the remote and rural areas in the North, East and South of the Netherlands. It is expected that the coming decades population numbers will decline with more than 10 percent in certain areas. In other parts of the Netherlands however, like the urbanized western Randstad region and the main large cities the population is still growing. The main research question is whether these trends in growth and decline will have an impact on the growth in mobility and investments in infrastructure? In this paper we describe the mobility effects of shrinkage and growth of population in the Netherlands. In which regions does shrinkage and growth occur, what are the underlying factors, what trends can be expected for the future and what effects does it have on traffic and transportation. The emphasis is on mobility differences at the regional level (COROP) and and the time horizon for the estimates is 2030.

The estimates are based on the recent regional population and household forecast 2009-2040 of Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). The starting points for determining the mobility effects are future scenarios for the Netherlands. The Dutch National Model System was used to estimate the mobility effects for the two most extreme scenarios in terms of growth and shrinkage of the population, respectively Global Economy (GE) for the scenario with the highest population growth and Regional Communities (RC) for the scenario where population decline is assumed. The contribution of demographic factors and other factors in the growth of the mobility were estimated as well, using a decomposition model. In addition attention is paid to the impact of demographic changes in the use of public transport.

The results show that the impact of population decline on mobility is limited. In regions with a shrinking population mobility is still increasing, but at a lower rate. This is mainly due to other, non-demographic factors, like economic development and social-cultural changes. An example is the Northeastern part of the Groningen province: if population decline would be the only contributing factor, car use would decrease by 8% in 2030. Because of other factors, which cause a growth of per capita car use, the overall car use will increase by 21%.
In areas where the demand for public transport is already low and still faced with a declining population, the regular public transportation will lose quality, because of operational problems. Other transportation concepts such as demand-driven transport can contribute to maintaining the quality of accessibility.
In regions where population is still increasing, mobility will also grow. In these regions population growth leads to a heavier load of the road network and an increase of public transport use, especially in the metropolitan areas of the Randstad.

Publisher

Association for European Transport