Prague 1 struggles to retain residents as population dwindles

Nearly 45,000 people lived in Prague's city center in 1989, but that number has gradually dipped to less than 30,000 in 2023. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.02.2024 15:41:00 (updated on 12.02.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

The gradual decline in the population of Prague 1 has become a growing concern for local authorities, reports Efforts to maintain the city center as a viable living option for long-term residents in the face of heavy tourism have yet to prove fruitful.

In 1989, Prague 1 was home to 44,519 residents, a number that has steadily decreased over the years. By 2005, the population had fallen to 32,552, and by 2023, it had dwindled further to 28,738 inhabitants. Through the first three quarters of 2023, Prague 1 was the only city district to experience negative population growth, losing 249 residents.

One significant factor contributing to the population decline in recent years has been the rise of short-term rentals, particularly through platforms like Airbnb. Over the past two decades, city center apartments once utilized for long-term residence have transitioned to short-term tourism.

Many long-term residents have expressed frustration over the noise, disruption, and lack of community caused by transient visitors. Traditional shops have also been replaced by tourist-oriented businesses, further changing the character of the neighborhood.

In response to these challenges, Prague 1 has taken proactive measures to support its residents. A newly-opened contact point for housing assistance offers a range of services, including advice about emergency benefits, resolving neighborhood conflicts, and addressing noise complaints.

Mayor Terezie Radoměřská emphasizes the importance of assisting long-time residents, many of whom are struggling to afford rising rents and utility costs.

Efforts to address the housing crisis include providing guidance on accessing state housing allowances and exploring options for downsizing to more affordable accommodations. Additionally, stricter regulations on short-term rentals are being implemented to mitigate their impact on local communities.

Despite these initiatives, the road ahead remains challenging. The municipality acknowledges the need for continued support and resources to address the complex issues facing residents.

By prioritizing the well-being of its citizens and implementing targeted interventions, Prague 1 aims to preserve its unique identity and ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for all who call it home.

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