Analysis of Szczecin Metropolitan Area’s Growth Potential
Purpose: The purpose of the article is to assess the demographic and economic situation of the Szczecin Metropolitan Area (SMA) with the application of mathematical models that served as the basis for classifying individual communes of the SMA into typological groups with similar demographic and economic potential. Design/Methodology/Approach: To ensure the most objective description of the said phenomena, statistical indicators (selected mostly based on their availability at the level of commune and repeatability over the study period) were used and assigned to specific areas. The main data source was the Local Data Bank kept by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS). Classical statistical methods and multidimensional analysis were employed to analyze the variables. Variability analysis and correlation analysis were used to select variables for analysis. The zero unitarization method was applied to standardize variables. Findings: Research findings confirmed the hypothesis that the demographic and economic situation of the SMA is rather varied, i.e., the lowest demographic potential is observed in the large cities of the SMA, whereas the highest demographic potential is recorded in communes adjacent to the large cities. In contrast, the highest economic potential is found in the largest cities of the Szczecin Metropolitan Area. Practical Implications: From the socio-economic perspective, local communities' demographic potential is an important component of the development opportunities of a region. Originality/value: The methodology employed for the analysis proved that demographic changes have and will continue to impact decision processes about a specific area and the overall socio-economic well-being of the metropolitan area.