An urban area or tätort (literally: "dense locality") in
Sweden has a
minimum of 200 inhabitants and may be a city, town or larger
village. It is a purely statistical concept, not defined by any
municipal or county boundaries. Urban areas referred to as
cities or towns (Swedish: stad for both terms) for statistical
purposes have a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants. In 2010, there were
1,956 urban areas in Sweden, covering 85% of the Swedish
Urban area is a common English translation of the Swedish term
tätort. The official term in English used by Statistics
however, "locality" (Swedish: ort). It could be compared with
"census-designated places" in the United States.
3 Swedish definitions
3.1 Terms used for statistical purposes
3.2 Popular and traditional terms
3.3 Seasonal areas and suburbs
5 See also
7 External links
Until the beginning of the 20th century, only the towns/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 created a statistical problem. The census of 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
Kiruna had 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.
Sweden showing all urban areas (cities and towns) with a
population of more than 20,000.
Urban areas in the meaning of tätort are defined independently on the
division into counties and municipalities, and are defined solely
according to population density. 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), but
some localities are, on the other hand, multimunicipal. Stockholm
urban area is 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.,
Stockholm should be accounted
as about 1.2 million rather than the approximately 800,000 of the
Lund rather about 75,000 than about 110,000.
Terms used for statistical purposes
See also: List of urban areas in Sweden
Tätort (English: urban area, or locality) is the central concept used
in statistics. The definition is agreed upon in the Nordic
countries: An urban area 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. – without regard to the
ward, municipal or county boundaries. Delimitation of localities
are made by Statistics
Sweden every five years.
Småort (English: smaller locality) is a rural locality with 50–199
inhabitants in a contiguous built-up area with no more than 150 meters
between houses. The concept is rarely used outside the field of
statistics, where it is used for settlements just below the limit
defined for tätort.
Centralort (English: central locality) is mostly used in the meaning
municipal seat or municipal center of service, commerce and
administration for an area.
Popular and traditional terms
See also: List of metropolitan areas in Sweden, Municipalities of
Sweden, Köping, and Stad (Sweden)
Storstad (English: metropolitan area, literally "large city") is a
term usually reserved for Sweden's three largest cities: Stockholm,
Gothenburg and Malmö. Statistics
Sweden uses the term metropolitan
area (Swedish: storstadsområde) for these three cities and their
immediate surroundings and municipalities.
Stad (English: town or city) is in a context of statistics restricted
to urban areas with a population greater than 10,000. Judicially,
the term stad has been obsolete since 1971, and is now mostly used
describing localities which used to be chartered towns. The
statistical category "large town" used by Statistics
municipalities with more than 90,000 inhabitants within a 30 km
radius from the municipality centre. There is also a category
medelstor stad "middle large town".
Köping (English: market town) was also 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 smaller towns. The meaning was a locality with an
intermediary legal status below that of a town.
Municipalsamhälle (English: 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
Samhälle (English: 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.
By (English: village and hamlet) is a traditional term but may in
colloquial use refer to a suburb or town 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, where it means
town, while a village is called landsby.)
Seasonal areas and suburbs
Fritidshusområde (English: 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 (English: suburb) are much used terms with a
somewhat negative connotation.
See also: Geography of Sweden
Delimitation of localities are made by Statistics
Sweden every five
years. The number of urban areas in
Sweden increased by 56 to 1,956
in 2010. A total of 8,016,000 – 85 per cent – of the Swedish
population lived in an urban area; occupying only 1,3 per cent of
Sweden's total land area, and the most populous urban area is
Stockholm at 1,4 million people.
List of cities in Sweden
List of metropolitan areas in Sweden
List of municipalities of Sweden
List of urban areas in Sweden
Largest urban areas of the European Union
Geography of Sweden
Urban areas in Finland
List of urban areas in Norway by population
^ a b "Localities 2010: Population, age and gender" (PDF) (in Swedish
and English). Statistics Sweden. p. 21. Retrieved 21 July
^ a b c "
Nationalencyklopedin - Tätort". Nationalencyklopedin.
Retrieved 21 July 2014. Translation: 'a for the Nordic countries
shared statistical definition of built-up area with at least 200
residents, not more than 200 m between each other (without regard to
the ward, municipal or county boundaries)'
^ a b c "Fortsatt stor ökning av befolkning i tätorter". Statistics
Sweden. Retrieved 21 July 2014. Definitionen av en tätort är i
korthet att den skall bestå av sammanhängande bebyggelse med högst
200 meter mellan husen och ha minst 200 invånare. Ingen hänsyn tas
till kommun- eller länsgränser
^ a b c d Statistics Sweden. Be 16 SM 9601, Tätorter 1995, p. 2:
"Towns (localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants)".
^ "Smaller localities 2010" (PDF) (in Swedish and English). Statistics
Sweden. p. 81. Retrieved 21 July 2014. A smaller locality
consists of a group of buildings not more than 150 met res apart from
each other and has 50 – 199 inhabitants.
^ Statistics Sweden. Population in the metropolitan areas on Dec. 31,
2002 and 2003, SCB Befolkningsstatistik del 1-2, 2003. Retrieved 2
^ Statistics Sweden.Press release, Household budget survey (HBS),
2006-06-01 Nr 2006:079A. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
^ "Stor andel unga i mindre tätorter". Statistics Sweden. Retrieved
21 July 2014.