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Contribution to the Analysis of Depopulation in Rural Areas of the Balkans: Case Study of the Municipality of Niksic, Montenegro

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Department of Geography, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Montenegro, D. Bojovica bb, 81400 Niksic, Montenegro
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National parks of Montenegro, 16, Vojvode Becir-bega Osmanagica, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
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Faculty of Economics and Engineering Management, University Business Academy, 400107 Novi Sad, Serbia
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Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083328
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 10 April 2020 / Accepted: 13 April 2020 / Published: 20 April 2020
This paper analyses demographic trends and population decline of the rural area surrounding Niksic, Montenegro, from the second half of the 20th century to the first two decades of the 21st century. After World War II, industry in Niksic began to develop strongly. A large number of state enterprises started to operate, and the consequent industrialisation and improved living conditions triggered a wave of migration from the surrounding rural areas to Niksic. The paper describes the depopulation of rural areas and the causes and consequences of migration within the Municipality of Niksic based on an analysis of population movement and density, the rural and urban populations, and the age structure of the population. Transformations of the economy after 1990 indicate that the neglect of agriculture and the destruction of agricultural land are mistakes that will prove difficult to correct. The results of our research reveal that, today, revitalisation of the countryside is only possible if non-agricultural activities are brought to the area centres and the quality of life is improved in the villages, which would reduce unemployment in the city. A solid traffic infrastructure between individual settlements and their connection with the city is also necessary. Between 2003 and 2011, the agricultural population increased by 1.2%, which gives hope because agriculture is now being recognised as significant, and a movement for changing the inherited negative perception of it is being created. This research is addressed to the state and municipal administrations of the region with the message to implement responsible and timely measures to revitalise the countryside and stop the extinction of the villages. View Full-Text
Keywords: depopulation; migration processes; demographic factors; rural development depopulation; migration processes; demographic factors; rural development
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Mickovic, B.; Mijanovic, D.; Spalevic, V.; Skataric, G.; Dudic, B. Contribution to the Analysis of Depopulation in Rural Areas of the Balkans: Case Study of the Municipality of Niksic, Montenegro. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3328.

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