Study finds UK has largest urban population in Europe

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 05 Oct 2015 11:43
UK has biggest percentage of city residents in Europe
UK has biggest percentage of city residents in Europe

New research published to mark World Habitat Day has revealed that 40 percent of the European population live in densely-populated areas, or cities, 28 percent in thinly-populated, or rural, areas and 32 percent in intermediate areas, or towns and suburbs.

The study founds there remain significant discrepancies between the EU Member States, some of them having a mainly urban population while in others the population is mainly rural.

With an overall average score of 6.9 on a scale from 0 to 10, the EU urban population aged 16 and over was globally satisfied with their city’s offer of recreational and green spaces, albeit to a lesser extent than the population living in thinly-populated areas (7.4/10).

On the occasion of today’s World Habitat Day, whose theme is “Public spaces for all”, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, released its latest information on the population in the EU living in cities.

In the EU in 2014, the share of the population living in cities stood at 40.2% in 2014, compared with 27.8% for rural areas and 32.0% for towns and suburbs. Across Member States, more than half of the population was living in cities in the United Kingdom (58.6%) and Cyprus (54.7%).

A large part of the population was also concentrated in urban areas notably in Spain (48.5%), Malta (48.0%), Bulgaria (45.7%) and the Netherlands (45.2%).

In contrast, the largest share of the population was living in rural areas in Luxembourg (51.0%), followed by Slovenia (49.8%), Lithuania (47.6%), Slovakia (45.6%), Denmark (44.4%), Ireland (43.5%) and Romania (43.1%). The population living in intermediate areas was predominant in Belgium (57.1%), while the population was almost evenly distributed between urban, intermediate and rural areas in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland.

On a scale from 0 (“not satisfied at all”) to 10 (“fully satisfied”), EU residents aged 16 and over and living in cities rated their satisfaction with recreational and green spaces at 6.9. Among the EU Member States, satisfaction with recreational and green areas for the population living in densely-populated areas was highest in the three EU Nordic Member States: Finland (8.5/10), Sweden (8.2/10) and Denmark (8.0/10). At the opposite end of the scale, urban populations with the lowest rated satisfaction were those living in Greece (5.0/10), Bulgaria (5.3/10) and Cyprus (5.9/10).




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