- Urban areas in Sweden
Urban area is a common English translation of the Swedish term "tätort". The official term in English, used by
Statistics Sweden, is, however, locality. There are 1,940 localities in Sweden (2005). They could be compared with " census-designated places" in the United States.
A "tätort" in
Swedenhas a minimum of 200 inhabitants, and may be a city, town or larger village. Urban areas referred to as cities/towns ("stad") for statistical purposes have a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants.Statistics Sweden. [http://www.scb.se/statistik/MI/MI0810/2000I02/MI38SM9601.pdf Be 16 SM 9601] , Tätorter 1995, p. 2: "Towns (localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants)".] However, since 1971, the term "stad" is no longer in use as a judicial concept in Sweden.
Up until the beginning of the 20th century only the cities were regarded as urban areas. The built-up area and the municipal entity were normally almost congruent. Urbanization and industrialization created, however, many new settlements without formal city status. New
suburbs grew up just outside city limits, being " de facto" urban but " de jure" rural. This was of course a statistical problem. The censusof 1910 introduced the concept of "densely populated localities in the countryside". The term "tätort" (literally "dense place") was introduced in 1930. The municipal amalgamations placed more and more rural areas within city municipalities, which was the other side of the same problem. The administrative boundaries were in fact not suitable for defining rural and urban populations. From 1950 rural and urban areas had to be separated even within city limits, as e.g. the huge wilderness around Kirunahad been declared a "city" in 1948. From 1965 only "non-administrative localities" are counted, independently of municipal and county borders. In 1971 "city" was abolished as a type of municipality.
Urban areas in the meaning of "tätort" are defined independently on the division into counties and municipalities, and are defined solely after density of population. In practice, most references in Sweden are to municipalities, not specifically to towns or cities, which complicates international comparisons. Most municipalities contain many localities (up to 26 in
Kristianstad Municipality). Some localities are multimunicipal [http://w41.scb.se/templates/Publikation____186288.asp] ; Stockholm urban areais spread over 11 municipalities.
When comparing the population of different cities, the urban area ("tätort") population is to prefer ahead of the population of the municipality. The population of e.g.
Stockholmshould be accounted as ~1.2 million rather than the ~750,000 of the municipality, and Lundrather ~75,000 than ~100,000.
Terms used for statistical purposes
* "Tätort" (=
urban areaor locality) is the central concept used in statistics. The definition is agreed upon in the Nordic countries: A "tätort" is any village, town or city with a population of at least 200 for which the contiguous built-up area meet the criterion that houses are not more than 200 meters apart when discounting rivers, parks, roads, etc. [Statistics Sweden. [http://w41.scb.se/statistik/MI/MI0810/2000I02/MI38SM9602.pdf Be 16 SM 9602] , Småorter 1995, Befolkningskoncentrationer i glesbygd, English summary, p. 3: "Locality (having at least 200 inhabitants) = urban area". Retrieved 2 December 2007.] Every fifth year (2000, 2005 etc) the localities are revised and new population figures released.
* "Småort" (= minor locality) is a
rurallocality with 50–199 inhabitants in a contiguous built-up area with no more than 150 meters between houses. [Statistics Sweden. [http://w41.scb.se/statistik/MI/MI0810/2000I02/MI38SM9602.pdf Agglomerations in rural areas 1995] , Småorter 1995 Befolkningskoncentrationer i glesbygd. Retrieved 2 December 2007.] The concept is rarely used outside the field of statistics, where it is used for settlements just below the limit defined for "tätort".
* "Centralort" (= central locality) is mostly used in the meaning
municipal seator municipal centerof service, commerce and administration for an area.
Popular and traditional terms
* "Storstad" (=
metropolis) is a term usually reserved for Sweden's three largest cities: Stockholm, Göteborg ( Gothenburg) and Malmö. Statistics Swedenuses the term metropolitan area("storstadsområde") for these three cities. [Statistics Sweden. [http://www.scb.se/statistik/BE/BE0101/2003A01/BE0101_2003A01_BR_05_BE76SA0401.pdf Population in the metropolitan areas on Dec. 31, 2002 and 2003] , SCB Befolkningsstatistik del 1-2, 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2007.]
* "Stad" (=
townand city) is in a context of statistics restricted to localities with a population greater than 10,000. Judicially, the term "stad" is obsolete since 1971, and is now mostly used describing localities which formerly were chartered cities. The statistical category "large town" used by Statistics Sweden include municipalities with more than 90,000 inhabitants within a 30 km radius from the municipality centre. [Statistics Sweden. [http://www.scb.se/templates/pressinfo____169883.asp Press release] , Household budget survey (HBS), 2006-06-01 Nr 2006:079A. Retrieved 2 December 2007.]
Köping" (= market town) was abolished as an official term in 1971 in governmental and statistical contexts, and is only rarely kept in use by laymen, although it has survived as part of the names of several towns. The meaning was a locality with an intermediary legal status below that of a town.
* "Samhälle" (= community) is a common concept used by for urban areas that are intermediary in size between a town and a village. The term "samhälle" is also used in Swedish to denote "
society", "community" or " state". (Compare: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.) A "samhälle" does not necessarily meet the criteria for the current "tätort" — or even "småort" concept.
* "Municipalsamhälle" (= municipal community) was a term in use between 1875 and 1971, but it is no longer used outside of historical contexts. In 1863, Sweden was divided into 2,500 municipalities, whereof 89 were towns, 8 were market towns (
köpingar) and the rest rural municipalities ("landskommuner"). A "municipalsamhälle" was an administrative centre for one or several rural municipalities, with special regulations and privileges in common with towns. The term became obsolete in 1971 when the different types of municipalities were abandoned and a standard form for all municipalities was introduced.
* "By" (=
villageand hamlet) is a traditional term but may in some contexts be used for suburbs and towns of considerable size. If at all used in the context of statistics, it must be assumed that the size of a "by" is smaller than that of a "småort." (NB! Not to be confused with the same word in Danish and Norwegian that means town/city.)
easonal areas and suburbs
* "Fritidshusområde" (= seasonal area) is in statistical context an area with less than 50 permanent inhabitants but at least 50 houses (in practice:
weekend cottages/ summer houses) meeting the criterion that they are not more than 150 metres apart. About a third of Sweden's " second homes" are located in such areas. The term belongs also to everyday usage, although less strictly defined.
* "Förstad" and "förort" (=
suburb) are much used terms with a somewhat negative connotation.
Data are computed by
Statistics Swedenevery five years. The latest data are as of December 31, 2005. Then the total population of the urban areas (or localities) in Sweden was 7,631,952 on an area of 5,286.23 km², which gives an average population densityof 1,444/km².
* 84% of the Swedish population lives in localities (i.e. in "
* 50% lives in the 64 largest urban areas
* A third lives in the 15 largest urban areas
* A quarter lives in the 5 largest
* The largest and most populous urban area is Stockholm
List of urban areas in Sweden
Largest urban areas of the European Union
Geography of Sweden
List of municipalities of Sweden
List of cities in Sweden
Largest urban areas of Norway
* [http://www.scb.se/templates/Product____12991.asp "Tätort-"statistics] from
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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