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Data engineering to study depopulation

11 de July del 2019




On behalf of the provincial council of Ciudad Real, our colleague Francisco Ruiz has conducted a study on the process of depopulation in the province of Ciudad Real. For the first time in Spain, the study allows a detailed radiography of the situation of each municipality, as well as a diagnosis of the main factors that influence the depopulation of each area. To this end, Professor Ruiz has combined traditional database technology with business intelligence tools to carry out ETL processes of data extraction, transformation and loading. In this way, a repository of 182 variables could be elaborated for each municipality, showing more than 20 population and socio-economic aspects (population density, unemployment, ageing, labour market, ...). The original data sources have been official and anonymized, handling nearly 18 million records: one for each person and year (the last 20 years have been studied), one for each emigration (a person who changes municipality, inside or outside the province, at a certain time), and one for each socio-demographic characteristic of each municipality each year. The subsequent causal analysis has been carried out using statistical methods and data mining. Thanks to this, it has been possible to identify more than 20 indicators that are directly related to population change, as well as their importance and whether they affect positively or negatively. The work has been interdisciplinary, with the co-direction of Professor Angel Raul Ruiz, director of the department of geography of the UCLM. Manuel Serrano and ESI colleagues Francisco Pascual Romero and Luis Jiménez also collaborated. The next steps of the project are to create a permanent observatory Diputación-UCLM and to develop a web tool of control panel type so that the enormous amount of data can be used in a comfortable and friendly way all over the world, specially responsible for taking the decisions to face the problem. The report and data files can be downloaded here.


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