Demographic challenges should be viewed as an important part of the complex development challenges facing Silesia and other coal regions. In particular, they are conducive to the formation of a development trap that will limit the region’s ability to adapt to new challenges and development strategies. This is related to both the loss of labour resources and human capital, as well as the rising costs of managing urban space and providing public services in emptying cities. Public policies should focus both on trying to curb negative demographic phenomena and adapting to them. It is vital for successful just transition to recognize methods improving the quality of life of citizens and maintaining the economic growth. It might be particularly challenging amidst an aging and shrinking population.