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A warm welcome to the new Alpine residents!

Chiappera in the Italian Alps is (still) affected by emigration. © comune.acceglio.cn.it

With an aging population and falling birth rates, depopulation and a boom in the immigration of the “new Highlanders”, the demographic change is marking the entire Alpine area – but different regions are being affected to varying degrees.

Recently released by the Alpine Convention, the fifth State of the Alps report shows the nature of demographic change in the Alps: the population is growing in the central and northern parts of the Alps, while it is shrinking in the eastern Alps. It paints a very heterogeneous picture: differences in population growth can be attributed to such factors as accessibility, attractiveness of the landscape and socio-economic factors.

Ernst Steinicke of the University of Innsbruck stresses that the Alps – apart from eastern Austria – are no longer facing depopulation, stating: “In the Italian Alps we see a positive migration balance of over ten percent in some areas”. Thus since the new millennium some 3,000 new immigrants – the so-called “new Highlanders” – have each year moved into peripheral Italian mountain communities.

“The State of the Alps report paints a complex and fascinating picture”, says Markus Reiterer, Secretary-General of the Alpine Convention. He provides policymakers and other actors with up-to-date and reliable data, a useful tool as demographic change already features on the political agenda of numerous municipalities. Thus in April 2015 a call was made at the meeting of the “Alliance in the Alps” network of municipalities to recognise the risks, break away from old models and to create structures that will for instance promote sustainable mobility.

Sources :

http://alpenallianz.org/en/news?set_language=en

http://www.alpconv.org/en/AlpineKnowledge/RSA/demographic/default.html?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

http://www.uibk.ac.at/ipoint/news/2015/lieber-besiedelte-als-unbesiedelte-alpen.html.de (de)

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