Swedes lead European race to the city

Swedes lead European race to the city
With more than one in five residents now living in a city, Sweden is outpacing other EU countries with its rapid rate of urbanization, newspaper Sydsvenskan reports.

In 2010, Sweden’s most densely populated areas grew at a rate of 17.3 people per thousand residents, far outstripping the EU average of 5.2, according to new Eurostat figures.

Since 2005, Sweden has had the quickest rate of urban growth in Europe by quite some distance.

Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå are all among the continent’s fastest growing cities, with all three evolving at a rate of more than one percent every year since 1994.

With the population gravitating more and more to urban centres, some 139 of Sweden’s 290 municipalities witnessed a population decrease last year, with the vast Norrland region especially hard hit by changing population patterns.

But Sweden still has a long way to go if it is ever to become as urbanized as Belgium, the Netherlands or Great Britain where more than two thirds of the inhabitants live in densely populated areas, Sydsvenskan reports.

Although Sweden is now home to twelve cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, it also has the highest number of residents living in so-called intermediate regions, which are neither predominantly urban nor predominantly rural.

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