ChapterPDF Available
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 232
EVALUATION OF CHANGES IN HOUSING CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT
THE POLISH RURAL AREAS USING METHODS OF RELATIVE TAXONOMY
Romana Glowicka-Woloszyn1, Ph.D.; Agnieszka Kozera2, Ph.D.;
Joanna Stanislawska3, Ph.D.; Andrzej Woloszyn4, M.Sc. and Anna Rosa5, Ph.D.
1,2,3,4 Poznan University of Life Sciences; 5Institute of Rural and Agriculture Development, Polish Academy
of Sciences
Abstract. The aim of the article was to assess housing conditions of population in rural areas in the provinces
in Poland in the years 2007-2016 and to analyse changes taking place in this period and the scale of
disproportions between regions. The research was dynamic and concerned the verification of the research
hypothesis assuming that the level of housing conditions of the population in rural areas in Poland in the
voivodship system is equalizing. In order to assess the level and changes of the studied complex phenomenon,
one of the relative taxonomy methods was used, in dynamic terms, which is based on the construction of a
medium-based synthetic meter. This method not only allows you to classify units in a given period but above
all, it allows to observe changes in the value of a synthetic variable over time, wherein the construction of a
synthetic feature is based on the relativistic values of diagnostic features. The research was based on data from
the Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office in Poland.
Only in the group of provinces where housing conditions in rural areas at the beginning of the research period
(in 2004) were assessed as high compared to other provinces (relative class I) some convergence in the
studied phenomenon in 2004-2016 was observed. Among 8 provinces , which in 2004 were characterized by a
relatively low and average lower level of housing conditions in rural areas (relative classes II and III), we can
talk about increasing the disproportions within the classes distinguished in 2004-2016. At the same time,
however, the synthetic assessment of housing conditions in 5 provinces from classes II and III improved and
approached the level of provinces from class I in the analyzed period and only only in 3 provinces this
rating has deteriorated. The results of the research allowed only a partial confirmation of the research
hypothesis.
Key words: housing conditions, relative taxonomy, rural areas, provinces , Poland.
JEL code: O18, C38,
Introduction
The significant differences in the socio-economic development and, consequently, in the
standard of living of the population of countries and regions is one of the basic problems of the
modern European economy. An important goal of the cohesion policy implemented in the EU is to
equalize the standard of living and to reduce development disparities between regions. The living
standards of the population, especially due to their important role in the life of every individual and
family, are particularly evident in housing conditions. They can be considered in quantitative terms,
indicating, for example, the availability of housing (existing housing stock), their features (area,
number of rooms) and quality, i.e., for example, their equipment in technical infrastructure (water
supply, sewage system, gas network etc.). The house, besides satisfying physiological needs, lying
in the base Maslow's hierarchy of needs, is also a mean to fulfill all higher-level needs (security,
belonging, recognition, self-fulfillment).
The importance of housing conditions for the life of the individual and the functioning of
societies has been emphasized in many acts of global and EU range. European integration affects,
to a large extent, the housing policies of member countries (Salamon, Muziol-Wieclawowicz 2015).
According to art. II-94 paragraph 3 of Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (2005, p. 54)
in order to counteract social exclusion and poverty, the EU recognizes and respects the right to
social assistance and housing assistance, in accordance with the rules laid down in EU law and
national laws and practices, to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources.
As emphasized in the study prepared by EUROSTAT (Living Conditions in Europe 2014):”Poor
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 233
housing conditions is an important barrier for achieving a standard of living considered as
acceptable in the society”.
Problems related to housing are also an important social problem in Poland. They concern both
shortages in the scope of housing resources (due to the delay in construction in relation to the
needs of the population) as well as housing equipment (Murawska, Gotowska, 2014, Kozera
et al., 2017). The distribution of housing resources, their equipment in technical and sanitary
facilities, and the needs of the society in terms of housing conditions are determined by, among
others, the level of social and host development of the region, the demographic situation and
changes in it, such as the level of migration, changes in the demographic structure.
In recent years, especially after Poland's accession to the European Union, rural areas are
becoming more often the target of interest. Many attention is paid to their problems, prospects and
development risks (Hadynski 2015; Heffner, Klemens 2016). This interest is dictated by the fact
that, according to the methodology of distinguishing rural areas used by the Central Statistical
Office, they occupy over 90 % of Poland's area. The demographic potential of these areas,
especially those close to larger urban centres, is also growing. In 2016, rural areas in Poland were
inhabited by more than 15 million people, or 40 % of the total population (Local Data Bank,
access: 15.01.2018). As it results from the report Polska wies 2016, the most important indicators
between the city and the countryside are characterized by the level of socio-economic
development, as well as consumption patterns, demographic situation and many others. However,
rural areas in Poland are still highly diversified on a regional basis in terms of the level of socio-
economic development and, as a result, in terms of housing conditions and the standard of living of
the population (Murawska, Gotowska, 2014, Murawska 2012). The issues of measuring the level of
housing conditions of the population in rural areas in the regional system (provinces) is therefore
extremely important from an economic, social and political point of view. This information is
necessary for the implementation of the national regional development policy, as well as for the
implementation of the cohesion policy objectives.
The aim of the article was to assess housing conditions of population in rural areas in the
provinces in Poland in the years 2007-2016 and to analyse changes taking place in this period and
the scale of disproportions between regions. The research was dynamic and concerned the
verification of a research hypothesis assuming that the level of housing conditions of the population
in rural areas in Poland in the system of voivodeships is balanced. This aim was achieved by a
research task that involved construction of a synthetic index of housing conditions using one of the
methods of dynamic relative taxonomy. This method not only allows to classify units in a given
period, but above all enables observation of changes in the value of a synthetic variable over time,
wherein the structure of a synthetic feature is based on the relativistic values of diagnostic
features. The research was based on data from the Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office
in Poland.
Research methodology
Housing conditions are a multidimensional phenomenon, they are examined usually using
taxonomic methods (Kozera, 2016; Kozera, 2017). Among the applied research approaches, the
methods of constructing a synthetic meter are often used. On the basis of the obtained values of
the synthetic meter, the examined objects are sorted (eg regions) and their ranking is created.
According to Wydymus (2013), the determination of the relative position of a given region (e.g.
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 234
country, province) on this basis is highly problematic. In this situation, a relative taxonomy can be
used to synthetically assess housing conditions, in which no particular simple features are
considered, but rather relativized indicators, which in terms of individual features are designated as
quotients of the trait value in a given region in relation to the values of other regions (Wydymus,
2013).
To assess housing conditions in rural areas in terms of voivodships in Poland in the years 2004-
2016, the following diagnostic features (stimulants) were selected:
X1 the number of housing units in rural areas per 1 thousand residents,
X2 average usable floor area of a housing unit per one person in rural areas (sq.m.),
X3 percentage of rural population using the water supply network ( %),
X4 percentage of rural population using the sewage network ( %),
X5 percentage of housing units equipped with a toilet flushed with water ( %),
X6 percentage of housing units equipped with bathroom ( %),
X7 percentage of rural population using the gas network ( %),
X8 percentage of housing units equipped with central heating ( %).
To determine the relative value of a synthetic measure of housing conditions in rural areas in
Polish voivodships in particular years in the period of 2004-2016, the procedure described by
Wydymus (2013) was used, which was also used in other studies (Lira et al., 2014; Lira 2015).
The values of individual features (housing conditions) for each object (province) and each year
were relativized according to the formula (Wydymus 2013):
where: b≠c, b=1,…, n, c=1,…, n
denoted the observation in the i-th province (i=1, …, n) of the j-th housing conditions
(j=1, …, m) in year t (t=1, …, k).
Thus transformed housing conditions indices of the c-th province relative to other province for
feature j and year t could be presented in the following form (Wydymus 2013):
In order to classify the objects with respect to all diagnostic features simultaneously the
subsequent matrices were calculated (Wydymus, 2013):
where the matrix A was defined as:
The diagonal elements of
*
jt
D
formed matrices
t
W
(for each time period):
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 235
The higher the value of Wijt index, the greater was the advantage of the i-th province over
remaining ones in the j-th feature (housing conditions) and in the t-th year.
Next, the
t
W
matrices were used to compute the Sit matrix of relative synthetic indices of
development for given objects and time periods (Wydymus, 2013):
The values of Sit smaller than 1 signified relative advantage of the i-th object over others in
period t.
The research drew on data from Local Data Bank published by the Central Statistical Office in
Warsaw. Calculations were performed in R.
Research results and discussion
Values of the relative synthetic index (Sit) of housing conditions in rural areas calculated for
2004 period were used for linear ordering of the provinces: from the highest values of the index to
the lowest. Next, the differences between adjacent provinces were computed and used to classify
all the provinces into three typological classes. The decision to split a class was made when the
differences came out relatively high. Class I of high relative housing conditions level in rural areas
in 2004 comprised the provinces of Dolnoslaskie, Lubuskie, Malopolskie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie,
Slaskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie, and class II of medium low relative level: Lubelskie,
Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Swietokrzyskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie, class III of low relative level
and, and class IV of low relative level: Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie, Podlaskie.
The voivodships in which the housing conditions in rural areas in 2004 compared to all other
voivodeships were clearly better were qualified to the relative class I (the synthetic relative index
in 2004 reached values below 1). In this class, there were three voivodeships, namely Pomorskie,
Malopolskie and Lubuskie, where in the period 2004-2016 further improvement of housing
conditions was noted in comparison to other voivodships (Table 2). This was confirmed by the
decreases in the value of the synthetic index between 2004 and 2016. It can be assumed that
these voivodships strengthened their position of leaders in the considered period - voivodships with
the highest assessment of housing conditions in rural areas. Analyzing the values of changes in the
relative synthetic index between 2004 and 2016, in the case of the Pomorskie Voivodship one can
speak of moderate improvement (decrease in the value of the Sit indicator by 1.35 %) and in the
case of the other two voivodeships (Malopolskie and Lubuskie) with slight improvement (changes in
the value of the indicator were -0.67 % and -0.11 % respectively). In the case of five voivodships
from class I located in the western and southern parts of Poland, i.e. Zachodniopomorskie,
Wielkopolskie, Dolnoslaskie, Slaskie and Podkarpackie, a slight deterioration of the relative
assessment of housing conditions was recorded in 2004-2016 (slight increase in the value of the Sit
meter). However, this situation did not result from the deterioration of housing conditions in
reality, but from the more dynamic improvement of conditions in other voivodships, for which they
were compared. In the case of these voivodships, one can therefore speak of a relative weakening
of the position of leaders in terms of housing conditions in rural areas. By far the most weakened
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 236
position of the Slaskie Voivodeship in 2004-2016 (increase in the value of the synthetic reference
rate by 6.21 %), which in 2004 was in the first place in terms of the assessment of housing
conditions in rural areas (the value of the Sit indicator was 0.78).
Table 1
Values of relative synthetic index Sit of housing conditions in rural areas
for all Polish provinces in 2004-2016
Relative
class
Values of Sit index
I of high
relative
housing
conditions
level in rural
areas
In 2004:
Sit<1.0
II of medium
low relative
housing
conditions
level
In 2004:
1.0<Sit<1.2
III of low
relative
housing
conditions
level
In 2004:
Sit>1.2
Source: authors’ calculation based on Local Data Bank, Central Statistical Office, Warsaw
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 238
To the relative class II (Table 1), voivodships, in which housing conditions were rated as lower
average in comparison to other voivodships (the relative synthetic value ranging from 1.04 to
1.13), were classified. In this class of voivodships there were voivodships: Lubelskie, Mazowieckie,
Opolskie, Swietokrzyskie and Warminsko-mazurskie. Of the five voivodships in this class, in as
many as four, in 2004-2016, the improvement of housing conditions was noted, whereas in the
Mazowieckie and Swietokrzyskie voivodships, the improvement was appreciable (the decrease of Sit
indicator by more than 6 %) and in Lubelskie and Warminsko-mazurskie - insignificant (the
decrease of Sit indicator by less than 1 %). However, in the Opolskie Voivodeship, there was a
slight deterioration of housing conditions in rural areas in the considered period.
In 2004, three provinces: Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lodzkie and Podlaskie were characterized by a
low relative assessment of housing conditions in rural areas. In the years 2004-2016, a significant
improvement in terms of housing conditions was noted in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province (the
decrease of Sit indicator by 6.7 %) and in the Lodzkie region moderate improvement (the
decrease by 1.65 %). In the least favourable situation were rural areas in the Podlaskie Province,
because in 2004 this voivodship was on the last position in the voivodship ranking in terms of
assessing housing conditions in rural areas (the value of the relative synthetic index was 1.24) and
in the considered period there was a further significant deterioration of this assessment (increase
in the value of the Sit indicator by 8.46 - it was the highest recorded increase of the Sit index).
From the construction of a relative synthetic measure used in the study it appears that
voivodships would not differ in terms of the assessment of the studied phenomenon, if the value of
this indicator for all voivodeships was equal 1. Analysing the values of Sit indicator in individual
years, it was found that only in class I, with a relatively high assessment of housing conditions in
rural areas in 2004, a slight reduction in the disproportions in the studied phenomenon in 2004-
2016 was noted. The range of values of the Sit indicator, which in 2004 ranged from 0.78 to 0.94
decreased to the range from 0.83 to 0.94 (Table 2 and Table 1).
In relative class II and III, however, there was a marked increase in disproportions, which is
clearly presented in the figures in Table 1. The values of the relative synthetic index of housing
conditions in rural areas in 2004 for all voivodships ranged from 0.78 (Slaskie) to 1.24 (Podlaskie
Voivodeship), so their spread was 0.46 (Table 2). The values of the indicator in 2016, however,
ranged from 0.83 to 1.35 (the spread was 0.52). The increase in the spread of the Sit indicator
between 2004 and 2016 shows an increase in the disproportion between voivodships in terms of
housing conditions in rural areas. At the same time, for five provinces from these classes
(Mazowieckie, Swietokrzyskie, Warminsko-mazurskie, Lubelskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Lodzkie)
improvement in housing conditions was observed, and a synthetic assessment of their level
approached the assessment of housing conditions in Class I. Only in three voivodships deterioration
of the relative synthetic evaluation of the studied phenomenon and, as a result, increase in the
spread of the indicator value Sit was observed.
The conducted empirical research allowed only a partial verification of the research hypothesis
assuming that "the level of housing conditions in rural areas in Poland in the system of provinces is
levelling out", as only in 13 out of 16 provinces, convergence in the studied phenomenon was
observed.
Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference "ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" No 49
Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 232-240
DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.140
1Corresponding author. E-mail address: roma@up.poznan.pl. 239
Conclusions, proposals, recommendations
1) The use of a relative synthetic indicator to assess housing conditions in rural areas in the Polish
provinces allowed not only to assess the level of the studied phenomenon in each region in
relation to other regions, but also to analyse changes in the relative level of housing conditions
in the 2004-2016 period.
2) For 50 % of provinces, housing conditions at the beginning of the research period (in 2004)
were assessed as high compared to other provinces, and in the second half of the voivodeships
as average lower and lower. While awaiting the convergence processes and reducing disparities
between regions, convergence in the subsequent years of the relative values of indicators to
unity should be expected. This would mean reducing the advantage (relative "deterioration") in
terms of housing conditions in class I (i.e., the increase in the value of a relative synthetic
index) and a relative improvement in the assessment of housing conditions in class II and III.
Unfortunately, while in class I a convergence in the field of the studied phenomenon was
observed, in the class II and III we can talk about increasing disproportions between
voivodships in terms of housing conditions in rural areas.
3) Due to the fact that the distribution of the housing resources, their equipment in technical and
sanitary facilities is related to both the economic and demographic situation of the regions, it is
advisable to continue the undertaken research and link these phenomena, which would enable
identification of conditions for improving housing conditions voivodships in Poland.
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... Data from Eurostat show that plenty of flats in Poland are overcrowded, i.e. have too few rooms relative to the number of people residing in them (nearly 38% in 2019). This value is very high compared to the rest of Europe, as the European average is slightly over 12% [Eurostat 2021]. In 2019, the average surface area of a flat in Poland amounted to 74.4 m 2 , more than 5 m 2 higher than in 2004. ...
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The issue of regional development with relation to the role of rural areas constitutes the research problem identified in this study. The main research question reflects this matter and is as follows: how to shape the competitiveness of rural areas in particular regional structure, in an open economy and current institutional and political conditions? The research aims at identifying processes shaping the competitiveness of rural areas at the regional level. This study examined the process of rural areas development, as a subject of research, and shaping their development from the point of view of regional competitiveness. This thesis is a multilayered analysis, which allowed to explain the difficult multi-faceted processes of rural development and offered a broad view of the problem of competitiveness. Monographic method was applied – both figures, as well as the description of the evaluation of regional competitiveness of rural areas contained mainly in foreign, but also national literature were used. The competitiveness of rural areas at the European Union NUTS 2 analytical level was examined. In order to allow for the designation of regional competitiveness the international indicators determining synthetic indexes were taken into account. Regional competitiveness index (RCI), as well as other development indicators applied across-EU countries were used. Therefore, the regional diversity of rural areas in the European Union was shown. The initial chapters are introductory and relate to the issue of interpretation of the concept of competitiveness based on the literature review. They result in defining the objective, scope and methodology of the research, as well as in gaining knowledge and presenting theoretical considerations related to economic competitiveness and rural areas in the regional structure. Hence, a discussion on the understanding of the concept of competitiveness in economic terms was presented along with the theoretical concepts of rural development and the problem of their competitiveness. Moreover, the empirical parts of the study point out various aspects of the competitiveness of the areas, both in terms of the development of competitiveness factors, as well as the methodology for analyzing this phenomenon. The dilemmas associated with the development of rural areas in the perspective of economic change and political objectives of the European Union were discussed. The final chapters deal with the issue of regional competitiveness of rural areas. The study ends with a summary and conclusions that indicate the desired policies directed to rural areas. The results show different aspects of the regional competitiveness of rural areas. The types of regional competitiveness of rural areas were identified. Hence, the identification and assessment of trends and factors identifying regional development were offered. These results constitute the basis to determine the directions and types of rural development and the prospects for development policy in regional terms, and can be used to define alternative scenarios for the development of rural areas.
Article
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The article refers to an analysis and an evaluation of changes in the technical infrastructure and housing in the rural areas of Poland in the years 1995–2008. The article covers all rural and rural–urban (excluding urban parts) gminas ¹ in Poland that altogether amounts to 2,172 units (as of 2008). It was stated that in the rural areas in Poland a population density increased and it is caused mainly by dynamic suburbanisation processes and by a population movement from cities and towns towards suburban gminas, and in a lesser degree by natural increase. In the article the spatial variations of rural gminas were presented in the following elements: length of the water-line and sewerage networks per 100 km ² ; share of water-line and of sewerage systems’ users, number of dwellings per 1,000 population, number of rooms per person, the usable floor space of a dwelling in m ² per person, share of dwellings fitted with water-line system and share of dwellings equipped with flush toilet and bathroom. It is also shown that there are relationships between population density and infrastructure and housing elements by providing positive as well as negative correlations. JEL Classification: R11
Infrastructure's and Housing's Development in the Rural Areas in Poland-Some Problems
  • D Szymanska
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Szymanska, D. and Bieganska, J., 2012: Infrastructure's and Housing's Development in the Rural Areas in Poland-Some Problems. In: Journal of Infrastructure Development, Vol. 4, No. 1, SAGE: Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, pp. 1-17. DOI: 10.1177/0974930612449533.
Obszary wiejskie: wiejska przestrzen i ludnosc, aktywnosc spoleczna i przedsiebiorczosc (Rural Areas: Rural Space and Population
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Heffner, K., Klemens, B. (ed.) (2016). Obszary wiejskie: wiejska przestrzen i ludnosc, aktywnosc spoleczna i przedsiebiorczosc (Rural Areas: Rural Space and Population, Social Activity and Entrepreneurship). Komitet Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania Kraju PAN, Warszawa.
A taxonomic Analysis of Housing Poverty in the European Union
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Kozera A. (2016). A taxonomic Analysis of Housing Poverty in the European Union, In Karlovitz J.T. (ed.) "Some studies of economic changes", International Research Institute, Komarno, pp. 63-72.
Zmiany w poziomie i jakosci zycia ludnosci na obszarach wiejskich w Polsce (Changes in the Level and Quality of Life of the Rural Population in Poland)
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Murawska A. (2012). Zmiany w poziomie i jakosci zycia ludnosci na obszarach wiejskich w Polsce (Changes in the Level and Quality of Life of the Rural Population in Poland). Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 3(25), pp. 169-180.
Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Polskiego Rolnictwa, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar
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Wilkin J., Nurzynska I. (ed.). Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Polskiego Rolnictwa, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar. Warszawa