Shrinking municipalities and their budgetary revenues on the example of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland
Research background: Adverse demographic changes in many local administration units around the world lead to their shrinkage. These processes are usually accompanied by economic changes. The economic consequences of shrinkage can be assessed based on the budgetary revenues of local units, which are largely dependent on the local population and the demographic structure.
Purpose of the article: The aim of this article is to evaluate the shrinkage of Polish municipalities and the effects of population change on the budgetary revenues of local administration units. The analysis was conducted in selected municipalities of the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship, which is the least economically developed region in Poland. The analysis covered the period between 2012 and 2017.
Methods: The shrinkage of municipalities was evaluated with the use of the methods proposed by the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCIRN). According to this methodology, a local unit shrinks when the annual decrease in population exceeds 0.15% for more than five consecutive years. The influence of demographic changes on the budgetary revenues of municipalities was evaluated with the use of linear correlation analysis (Pearson's r) as well as a survey conducted among municipal treasurers in the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship.
Findings & Value added: Symptoms of shrinkage were described in selected municipalities of the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship. The presence of correlations between different categories of budgetary revenues and demographic changes was confirmed. The results of the study and the formulated practical recommendations constitute constructive inputs to the discussion on possible solutions to the analyzed problem. They can also be used in further research to analyze other aspects of municipal budgets (the consequences of depopulation for budgetary expenditures, municipal debt, etc.) or conduct comparisons with other regions in Poland and in the world.
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