The data chapter People of Bratislava is a part of the publication How to Understand the City and its People to be published by The Office of Participatory Planning of the Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava. It was created in cooperation with the Department of Data Policy and Analysis in an interdisciplinary manner. This chapter presents various data, perceiving the public through the lens of demography, economic income, nationality or environmental conditions, which define the different needs of various groups in the city. These data can then be used as a basis for policy-making, strategic documents, participatory processes or further research.

Below we present selected stories from this data chapter.

1. Inhabitants

After years of stagnation, the population of Bratislava is increasing, mainly due to the influx of people from other parts of Slovakia and other countries.

From the beginning of the social transformation in 1989 until the middle of the 2000s, a period of population loss due to a combination of natural and migratory decline persisted. Since that period, both basic gross population growth rates have increased significantly in Bratislava compared to the rest of the country.

The difference in population dynamics between the Bratislava metropolitan region and the rest of the country is likely to widen in the coming years, as the capital is demographically depleting other territories, especially regions.

Although growing population trends are positive for capital cities, it should be noted that the population of older people will increase over the years and the number of people of working age will decrease. The proportion of older people in Bratislava is significant especially in the Old Town and in the second district of Bratislava, where they make up almost a fifth of the total population. This trend will gradually deepen.

The general milestone is the age of 75 when most people's health deteriorates and they begin to rely on help to provide for their necessities. In addition, women over 65 have a total income around 20% lower than people of working age, men over 65 about 12% lower (EU SILC 2018). Older women, therefore, have more difficult living conditions compared to others in terms of economic security or deteriorating health.

Since women in Bratislava live almost 7 years longer than men (SO SR), they gain a significant predominance in older age. Women in Bratislava in the 65+ category represent approximately 60% and in the 85+ category even up to 70% of all older people. As a result, when we talk about very old people in the city, we talk mostly about women.

2. Daily visitors

Bratislava's gravity significantly exceeds the relationship between the city centre and its suburbs. A huge number of people come to the city every day from distances far beyond its administrative boundaries for work, business, education, culture or other services. Where do daily migrants come from?

Almost a third of SIM cards present in Bratislava during the day come from outside the city borders.

Daily commuters constitute an important part of the city's inhabitants, who stimulate the economy, contribute to the city's diversity and at the same time have their own needs for the use of city resources, infrastructure and services.

138,557 SIM cards come to Bratislava daily from the Bratislava and Trnava regions, 57,953 of them come from 14 locations.

Daily commuters usually use the city as effectively as possible in terms of fulfilling their duties and goals. After these are filled, daily commuters usually move home.

Daily migrants are concentrated in areas characterized by a high concentration of jobs, education, culture, trade and other services. It is mainly the central areas of the city.

3. Foreigners

Foreigners represent up to 8% of the population of Bratislava, a significant part, the importance of which will grow in the future. A typical foreigner in the city is a man of an economically productive age. On the contrary, the number of children and older people is low among foreigners. Most foreigners are concentrated in the cosmopolitan Old Town, but they also form clusters in industrial areas on the outskirts of Bratislava.

As of January 2020, there were 38,210 officially registered foreigners living in Bratislava, who came from up to 140 countries around the world. Within the EU, the largest communities of foreigners come mainly from neighbouring countries. Among non-EU countries, most foreigners come from Ukraine, Serbia, the Russian Federation and Vietnam.

With regard to public policies and services for foreigners, it is important to know where foreigners are located within the city, or how many foreign children and older people live in individual districts of the city. If we take into account the absolute numbers, foreigners are relatively evenly distributed in Bratislava. However, if we look at the percentage of the total population in a given part of the city, significantly the largest numbers of foreigners live in the districts of Bratislava I and Bratislava III.

It is therefore very important to think about how the city can respond to the different needs of foreigners. Where will their children go to school? Are the schools ready for this? How can they build relationships, find friends? How will they learn important information about life in Bratislava or cultural activities? Will services be available to them when they reach older age?

4. Economic situation

Although incomes in Bratislava follow the growing trends of Western countries, it is an increase at the expense of widening income disparities between individual groups of the population. The average inhabitant of Staré Mesto earns up to 400 Euros per month more than the average inhabitant of Podunajské Biskupice.

Note: The data source in chapter Economic situation is the Social Insurance Agency. The data used include only permanent employment, which defines trends but may represent a certain limit in research.

Inhabitants of Staré Mesto have the highest wages (employment earnings) in Bratislava. They are followed by the inhabitants of Čunovo, Lamač and Záhorská Bystrica. On the contrary, the lowest paying jobs are occupied by the inhabitants of Vrakuňa, Vajnory, Podunajské Biskupíce and Devín.

From a comparison of the wages of inhabitants of the individual city districts of Bratislava, it is clear that the imaginary scissors between the low-income and high-income inhabitants are opening up.

The gap between the inhabitants with lower and higher incomes is widening. Comparing 2004 and 2017, the difference in employment income between the lowest and highest quartile of the population has doubled.

The following graph shows how labour incomes have developed in individual city districts over the last 15 years compared to others. An example of a comparison from the graph is Staré Mesto, which had a median income of 117% of the average median of all city districts between 2004 and 2007. Between 2014 and 2007, the median income in Staré Mesto already accounted for 133% of the average of the medians of all city districts, which resulted in an "improvement in position" of 16 percentage points.

In the last ten years, Staré Mesto is doing better and better than other parts of the city.

The level and growth patterns of (median) incomes in Bratislava’s city districts points to the significant position of the inhabitants of Staré Mesto in comparison with other city districts. During the years 2004 - 2017, the median income of inhabitants of Staré Mesto never fell below the median of the city as a whole. At the same time, the average inhabitant of Staré Mesto earns 64% more per year than the inhabitant of Podunajské Biskupice.

5. Environment

Climate change can be felt in Bratislava as well, mainly in the form of heat waves, lack of precipitation, other times excessive precipitation, which significantly change the living conditions of the city’s inhabitants. The areas that are the least adapted to the effects of climate change are and will be the most affected ones.

While the global average temperature has risen by almost 1°C since the beginning of the 20th century, Slovakia has seen about double the warming (approximately 1.7 to 2°C) over the same period. As can be seen from the following graph, it is expected that compared to the period of 1961-1990, the annual average air temperature in the area of southern Slovakia will increase significantly by 2100.

Based on analyzes from satellite images, we see where extreme summer heat poses the greatest risk to the population. These are mainly areas of the Ružinov district (Trnávka), as well as Staré Mesto, partly Petržalka (Kopčany, Einsteinova street) and to some extent also Nové Mesto. Strong heat will impair people's quality of life, especially in densely populated areas without greenery and water. Heatwaves cause exhaustion in people and are less well-tolerated by older people, people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

It is necessary to adapt the character of the buildings and their surroundings to the intensity of precipitation due to its potentially hazardous nature. In terms of risk assessment, it is appropriate to prioritise the implementation of those adaptation measures that affect vulnerable populations. The most vulnerable can be found in hospitals or social facilities, whose highest concentration is in the districts of Nové Mesto, Staré Mesto, Ružinov, Podunajské Biskupice or Petržalka.

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