Two trends are observed in contemporary cities around the world: whereas some urban areas develop rapidly and experience population growth, a steady population decline is noted in other cities. Demographic changes in urban areas are also accompanied by economic changes. These changes constitute a very serious challenge for sustainable regional growth. However, these problems have not been sufficiently investigated to date, including in Poland. The aim of this study was to identify shrinking cities in Poland and the phenomena that are related to the economic aspects of urban shrinkage in Poland. Empirical research relied on analysis of the population growth rate in Polish urban municipalities, and the phenomena related to the economic aspects of urban shrinkage were identified by multiple linear regression analysis. The period of research was 2003–2019. Thirty-three Polish cities experienced a steady population decline. The economic phenomena related to urban shrinkage included changes in own-source revenues, proportions of government transfers in municipal budgets, unemployment, migration, municipal spending on education, transport, communications, and social welfare. Population decline was not related to changes in the age-dependency ratio, public spending on housing, the number of companies, or the number of vacant homes in cities. The research results can be a source of important information for regional sustainable growth policies used not only in cities and regions in Poland, but also in other Central and Eastern European countries where this phenomenon occurs.
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