Urban change and the role of the capital city: A comparative study of 3 Baltic States

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the three Baltic States – have experienced radical changes in their socio-spatial organization due to the transition from the Soviet regime to market-led neo-liberal economies in the 1990s. Since then the general trend in the Baltic States is population concentration in the capital city regions and shrinkage beyond them. The main focus of this study is on the (changing) dominance of the capital city regions. The aim of the present paper is two-fold. Firstly, it attempts to determine the long-term urban dynamics. Therefore, we test how well the existing theoretical models reflect the urban dynamics in the Baltic States and we invite to connect post-socialist cities in advancing these models forward. Secondly, this paper investigates the current state of urban development of three Baltic countries with the aim to better understand the role of the capital cities in the population redistribution in the context of population decline, urbanization and selective migration. Therefore, we analyse the patterns of internal migration to obtain more insight into the (changing) dominance of the capital cities in the settlement systems. This paper investigates weather the capital cities are the “winners” who concentrate younger and higher educated residents at the same time pushing away older and less educated residents. Or maybe the capital cities act as the distributors of the “successful” people to other locations within the countries? This is the first comparative Baltic study on urban and population change, which explores the patterns of internal migration using individual level census data.les.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2019
EventRegional Studies Association Annual Conference 2019: Pushing Regions beyond their Borders - University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Duration: 4 Jun 20197 Jun 2019


ConferenceRegional Studies Association Annual Conference 2019
CitySantiago de Compostela
Internet address


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