Migrations as a Way of Population Adaptation to Polarization of Space at the Center of Russia

Migrations as a Way of Population Adaptation to Polarization of Space at the Center of Russia

Nefedova T.G.

Dr. Sci. (Geogr.), Chief Researcher, Institute of Geography RAS, Moscow, Russia. trene12@igras.ru

Starikova A.V

Cand. Sci. (Geogr.), Researcher, Institute of Geography RAS, Moscow, Russia. a.v.starikova@igras.ru

ID of the Article: 8332

The study was financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 19-17-00174) and within the state-ordered research theme of the Institute of Geography RAS (No. 0148-2019-0008; methodology in the framework of time-geography).

For citation:

Nefedova T.G., Starikova A.V Migrations as a Way of Population Adaptation to Polarization of Space at the Center of Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 10. P. 24-38


Population spatial mobility is an important factor for adaptation to life in territories featuring strong socio-economic contrasts. The study is based on Rosstat and the Ministry of Internal Affairs statistics, as well as on field observations in the developed regions of Central Russia. In most oblasts surrounding Moscow Capital Region, net migration, if positive, is normally due to international inflows. However, it cannot make up for the population and labor loss. Both locals and immigrants aim at moving to Moscow/Moscow oblast, significantly ahead of the neighboring areas in terms of living standards, labor market prospects, wages’ which are opportunities for education and leisure, etc. Within regions resettlers’ and labor migrants’ flows, spatial heterogeneity and concentration of population in the largest cities and their suburbs grow, while the peripheral devastation is apace. Socio-geographical analysis of migration processes was conducted by authors from the standpoint of time-geographical approach. The indicator of human activity density was calculated (ratio of actual number of man-hours per year lived by permanent and temporary population on the territory to is area) allowing us to compare influence of return and non-return migrations at the intra-regional level on the case of Yaroslavl oblast. As a result, real population distribution in the region was revealed considering its movements and time spent at different places. Smoothing of the human activity “landscape” via dacha, tourist and partly international migrations is stated, while human activity “nodes” exist due to resettlements and labor migration.

spatial polarization; migrations; time geography; early developed regions; Moscow Capital Region; Central Russia


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Content No 10, 2020