Large share of population lives in urban regions
Eurostat data | Friday 30 March 2012
On 1 January 2011, 41% of the population of the EU27 lived in urban regions, 35% in intermediate regions and 23% in rural regions. These figures, published on 30 March by Eurostat, are based on a new urban/rural typology developed by the European Commission. Regions are classified as rural, intermediate or urban based on an analysis of population density and total population.
In contrast with the EU average, the greater share of the population lives in rural regions in Ireland, Slovakia and Estonia.
The largest shares of the population living in urban regions were recorded in Malta (100% of the population), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (both 71%) and Belgium (68%). Luxembourg and Cyprus are classified as intermediate regions. With the exception of these two member states, the largest proportions of the population living in intermediate regions were observed in Sweden (56%), Estonia (52%) and Bulgaria (45%). The largest shares of the population living in rural areas were registered in Ireland (73%), Slovakia (50%), Estonia (48%) and Hungary (47%).
In the EU27, in 2010, the population of urban regions grew by 5.2 per 1,000 inhabitants and intermediate regions by 2.2‰, while rural regions decreased by 0.8‰. In nearly all member states, it was in urban regions that the population grew most rapidly
The rural population rose in ten member states and fell in fourteen. The largest increases were registered in Belgium (+7.3‰ in 2009), Ireland (+6.1‰) and France (+5.1‰ in 2009), and the largest decreases in Lithuania (-31.6‰), Bulgaria (-13.2‰) and Latvia (-11.6‰).