Swedish flock to cities faster than other Europeans

Recent figures have shown that Swedes are increasingly opting for city life. According to a recent report released by the Sydsvenskan newspaper, the country’s most densely populated urban areas grew by a rate of 17.3 percent in 2011, faster than any other country in Europe by a wide margin.

The news marks the seventh year running in which Sweden led the way for urbanisation, with Umea, Malmo and the Swedish capital remaining some of the fastest growing cities in Europe; all three have continued to grow at a rate exceeding one per cent since the mid 1990s.

Meanwhile, many rural municipalities are seeing population decreases as people continue to flock to major cities. Nearly half of rural communities– 139 of 280 – saw a drop in population last year. Experts say that the Norrland region has taken a particularly hard blow in recent years.

Despite the figures, Sweden is far less urbanised than neighbouring nations such as Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands, according to reports.