Agnieszka Kopańska

© Agnieszka Kopańska. Artykuł udostępniony na licencji CC BY-SA 4.0


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Ageing populations are a challenge for public finances. The problem is recognised better at country than at local level. This study aims to analyse the impact of the ageing of populations on the revenues and expenditures of Polish municipalities, as well as on their most important components. The author performed an econometric analysis (fixed effects regression) of panel data for 2,414 municipalities between 2004 and 2019. The data for the study was obtained from budgetary statements of Polish municipalities collected by the Ministry of Finance. It was preceded by an international literature review and an analysis of demographic changes in municipalities. The demographic data came from the Local Data Bank of Statistics Poland.
The study positively verified the hypothesis that if the proportion of elderly citizens in a municipality increases, the local budget shrinks. A decrease in revenues and spending per capita was observed, which could mean that in ageing municipalities, citizens receive fewer and/or lower-quality public services. Since public services are in greater demand among lowerincome and less self-supporting citizens, they will be influenced by the cutting of local budgets to the largest extent. The study showed that ageing municipalities tend to spend less on care homes than those where the proportion of the elderly is smaller, even though this form of care is particularly needed in ageing communities. It means that the ageing problem might deepen horizontal inequalities between municipalities. Preventing this from happening requires effective local strategies in addition to a well-devised central policy.


ageing population, municipal budgets, decentralised public finance


H71, H72, H73


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