The article represents an attempt at establishing whether the rural areas of Poland are becoming depopulated. Is there a problem of depopulation in the situation when migration of people from villages to towns is declining and the level of total population is relatively stable? If the answer is positive then it should be determined whether this phenomenon is more or less intense than in the past. Basing on the assumption that depopulation occurs when the decrease in the number of residents is accompanied by unfavourable changes in the demographic structure the authoress has delimited rural areas, which show the signs of depopulation, in accordance with the classification of communes done from the point of view of the scale of changes in population levels and features of the age and sex structure of the rural population. The conducted analyses have indicated that in regional systems the problem of depopulation of villages in Poland still exists although its scale is smaller than it was expected still in the late 1980s. The latter is undoubtedly attributable to the declining migration of residents from rural to urban areas. The conducted research has proved that serious demographic problems characterize not more than 6% of Poland's communes. These are areas where the phenomenon of depopulation occurred early and where the deformation of demographic structure reached a high degree a relatively long time ago.
B. Piecek, Instytut Rozwoju Wsi i Rolnictwa, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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