Journal 2020#1

Assessment of Populationís Adaptation to the Changing Living Conditions in Terms of Convergence of the Regional Settlement Systems

Populationís adaptation to the changing living conditions and its results provoke the transformation of the socio-economic behaviour of different population groups. In turn, this transformation can affect the development of residence territory either positively or negatively. The studyís scientific significance is due to the need to find methodological approaches to the adequate assessment of populationís adaptation to the rapidly changing living conditions. In this context, we are interested in the regional peculiarities of populationís adaptation, based on the economic, natural, socio-cultural differences of the Russian regions. We hypothesise that populationís adaptation to changing living conditions is connected with development of the regional settlement system. Thus, adaptation can be assessed in terms of the systemís dynamics and convergence/divergence of its structural components: environmental, economic and socio-demographic subsystems. In the analysis, we used a set of indicators of socio-economic development for 83 Russian regions taken from the database of the Federal State Statistics Service for the period from 2004 to 2017. The main research methods were statistical data analysis aimed to assess the convergence/divergence of the Russian regions by socio-economic indicators of development. We estimated σ-convergence (analysis of the dynamics of development indicatorsí dispersion) and β-convergence (estimation of Barro regression). The studyís results indicate that the socio-demographic subsystem is characterised by more expressed adaptive processes, reflected in the unstable indicators of the σ-convergence due to migration and morbidity. This fact means that the variation of the aforementioned indicators decreases or increases depending on the economic situation in the regional context. Generally, the observed convergence in the dynamics of indicators of economic and socio-demographic subsystems in regional settlement systems demonstrates the adaptive nature of socio-economic and demographic behaviour of population. The results of the research can form an information base for the regional socio-economic development strategies and state programs of the social policiesí implementation.