The effect of geographical position and employment fluctuations on rural settlement trendsAbstract
Structural changes in the economy and spatial and inter-settlement differences in living standards and quality of life lead to fundamental alterations in the national settlement system. Settlement polarisation is gathering momentum, along with the movement of rural population from Russia’s east and north to its southern and metropolitan regions. These processes benefit urban agglomerations. Typological differences between regional settlement systems, still poorly understood but essential for strategic and spatial planning, are growing. This article draws on the concept of the geographical demographic situation; it uses official statistics on Russian regions and Kaliningrad municipalities and settlements to explore the connection between rural settlement trends and employment fluctuations caused by structural shifts in Russian regional economies. It is shown how settlement polarisation affects differences in settlement trends of meso- and microdistrict levels. Regions are identified that have a capacity for rural-urban migration and corresponding rural employment structure and trends.