Spatial gaps – Narrowing or widening? Changes in spatial dynamics in the new millennium

Ravit Hananel*, Sagit Azary-Viesel, Harel Nachmany

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spatial dynamics and its impact on core–periphery relations and on people's lives have always been a major concern for both scholars and decision makers in many parts of the world. These issues are of greater concern today than ever before because of the global housing affordability crisis that is intertwined with changes in traditional internal migration patterns. This study offers a unique analysis, combining theoretical developments and in-depth empirical research, using big data on the entire Israeli population ages 21 +. It examines changes in spatial dynamics in Israel to understand whether core–periphery disparities have been narrowing or widening in the past two decades. The research findings show mixed trends. With regard to educational level and the distribution of age groups, they indicate the strengthening of the peripheral areas. However, the distribution of income classes shows the strengthening of the center of the country (Tel Aviv area) and the weakening of the other areas. This reflects the relatively stable spatial gaps between the center and the periphery. However, this study further shows that there is a high probability that young, educated, and affluent households will abandon the periphery and that the gaps will eventually widen. Though the findings focus on Israel, they are relevant to many countries because they address core–periphery relations from a spatial-demographic perspective, thus emphasizing the great importance of making peripheral areas attractive places to live.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105693
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Core-periphery relations
  • Israel
  • Socio-demographic characteristics
  • Spatial gaps
  • Urban areas


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