List of urban areas in the Nordic countries

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This is a list of urban areas in the Nordic countries by population. The population is measured on a national level, independently by each statistical bureau. Statistics Sweden uses the term tätort (urban settlement), Statistics Finland uses also tätort in Swedish and taajama in Finnish, Statistics Denmark uses byområde (city), while Statistics Norway uses tettsted (urban settlement). Despite an older statistical definition was agreed upon in the Nordic countries[1] a continuous built-up area whose population is at least 200 inhabitants and where the maximum distance between residences is 200 metres; discounting roads, parking spaces, parks, sports grounds and cemeteries – without regard to the ward, municipal or county boundaries.[1][2], the actual boundaries are not set by the statistical bureaus. Any scientific comparing isn't possible.


Rank City / urban settlement Urban area Metropolitan Notes Image
1 Sweden Stockholm 1,515,017 2,269,060[3] Capital of Sweden. Municipality: 932,917. The Stockholm urban area, Urban Stockholm, or Tätorten Stockholm as it is called in Swedish, consists of the municipalities of Stockholm, Solna and Sundbyberg, as well as parts of Botkyrka, Danderyd, Haninge, Huddinge, Järfälla, Nacka, Sollentuna, Tyresö municipalities. The metropolitan area is called Metropolitan Stockholm or Stor-Stockholm. Only "Innerstan", parts of Solna, Liljeholmen and the area around Stockholm Globe Arena can be described as city core, rather than suburb. Stockholm old town 2002.jpg
2 Denmark Copenhagen 1,308,893[4] 2,350,000[5][6] Capital of Denmark. Municipality: 613,288 Statistics Denmark considers the City of Copenhagen (Byen København) to consist of the Municipality of Copenhagen plus three adjacent municipalities, viz. Dragør, Frederiksberg, and Tårnby.[7] Their combined population stands at 775,033 (as of January 2018).[8] The Urban area of Copenhagen (Hovedstadsområdet) is defined as the municipalities of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Albertslund, Brøndby, Gentofte, Gladsaxe, Glostrup, Herlev, Hvidovre, Lyngby-Taarbæk, Rødovre, Tårnby and Vallensbæk, as well as parts of the Ballerup, Rudersdal, Furesø, Ishøj and Greve municipalities. The Copenhagen metropolitan area (Hovedstadsregionen) had a population of 2.6 million in 2018, while the Oresund Region had approximately 4 million. Copenhagen city core (including block build-up areas only) comprises most of the municipality's area but also includes entire Frederiksberg as well as good parts of Gentofte (Hellerup and Ordrup districts) and Tårnby (areas north of Copenhagen Airport). Kopenhagen Innenstadt.JPG
3 Finland Helsinki 1,249,820[9] 1,360,232 Capital of Finland. Municipality: 632,577. Urban Helsinki, or Helsingin kaupunkialue as it is called in Finnish, is defined by Statistics Finland. At minimum it includes most of the neighbouring municipalities Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. For the Greater Helsinki area: 1,360,232. The city's core is located at a peninsula and is around the same size as Oslo's. Suurkirkko Helsinki maaliskuu 2002 IMG 0629.JPG
4 Norway Oslo 942,084[10] 1,588,457[11][12] Capital of Norway. Municipality: 647,676. The very large area known as the Greater Oslo Region (metropolitan) area has a population of 1,546,706. Conurbation includes the neighbouring municipalities Bærum, Asker, Skedsmo, Lørenskog and Oppegård in their entirety, as well as parts of Røyken, Sørum, Nittedal, Rælingen and Ski. It is the fastest growing capital city in Europe.[13] The city's block up-built core is small. Bjorvika mars2013.JPG
5 Sweden Gothenburg 581,822 997,446[3] Municipality: 581,822. For the official statistical entity see Storgöteborg (Gothenburg Metropolitan Area). Göteborg från Liseberg.jpg The city's core is located along the left side of Göta Älv, over a rather long, but not very, wide distance. To this comes the block areas from the city's commercial centre and a bit towards the south (Örgyte).
6 Finland Tampere 330,711[14] 370,084[citation needed] Municipality: 217,767. Eurostats population size for Tampere is 369,525.[15] Downtown Tampere1.jpg
7 Sweden Malmö 301,706 707,120[3] Approximately 1 million for all municipalities bordering Öresund's Swedish shores, and municipalities bordering to such a shore-municipality. Municipality: 328,494. For the official statistical entity Stormalmö (Malmö Metropolitan Area): 707,120 and for the Oresund Region circa 3,900,000[16] Malmo view2.jpg The statistical area isn't decided locally nor regionally. The population along the Swedish side of Öresund, in principle Malmö+Helsingborg metropolitan areas, counts around to a million people (from Trelleborg to Ängelholm North to South, and Eastwards to Åstorp, Eslöv and Svedala) and 120 km size. Malmö's city core is close to equal the municipality, though a bit smaller.
8 Denmark Aarhus 273,077[17] Municipality: 340,421.[18] Which is a part of the East Jylland region with a population of 1,279,492. Eurostats population size for Aarhus is 845,971.[15] Århus city trafikhavn.jpg
9 Finland Turku 269,057[14] 315,751[19] Municipality: 180,546. View of Aura River in Turku.jpg
10 Norway Bergen 247,731[10] 420,000[citation needed] Municipality: 267,150. Metropolitan area: 377,116. Bergen-Fløibanen-view.jpg
11 Norway Stavanger 203,771[10] 319,822[citation needed] Municipality: 128,830. Metropolitan area: 297,569.

Conurbation includes the neighbouring municipalities Sandnes, Randaberg and Sola.

12 Iceland Reykjavík 212,385 212,385[20] Capital of Iceland. Municipality: 118,898. Metropolitan area includes the neighbouring municipalities Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Mosfellsbær, Seltjarnarnes and Álftanes.[20] Note, no urban area is defined. Reykjavík séð úr Hallgrímskirkju 6.JPG
13 Finland Oulu 198,358[14] Municipality: 191,237 Tuira.jpg
14 Denmark Odense 178,210[21] Municipality: 213,558 Odense Rathaus und Dom.JPG
15 Norway Trondheim 169,972[10] Municipality: 180,280. Metropolitan area: 274,958. Trondheim - buildings near Nidelva 03.jpg
16 Sweden Uppsala 140,454 253,704[22] Municipality: 197,787 Uppsala Church and city centre.jpg
17 Denmark Aalborg 134,672[21] Includes Nørresundby; Municipality: 205,809 Aalborg 2010 - 100 ubt.JPG
18 Finland Jyväskylä 121,782[14] Municipality: 134,756 Jyvaskyla centrum.jpg
19 Finland Lahti 118,119[14] Municipality: 103,187 Lahti centre.JPG
20 Sweden Västerås 110,877 173,322[22] Municipality: 137,207 3000' ovanför Västerås.jpg
21 Norway Drammen 110,503[10] Includes the neighbouring municipality Nedre Eiker in its entirety, as well as parts of Øvre Eiker, Lier and Røyken. Drammen from east.png
22 Sweden Örebro 107,038 208,241[22] Municipality: 135,460 Örebro, Stortorget.jpg
23 Norway Fredrikstad/Sarpsborg 106,758[10] Fredrikstad with 61,264 inhabitants and Sarpsborg with 44,281 have grown together, to form an urban area known as "Nedre Glommaregionen" (the Lower Glomma Region – The cities are placed along the outlet of the river Glomma, hence the name). Fredrikstad bryggepromenade fra Kråkerøybroa.JPG
24 Sweden Linköping 104,232 177,308[22] Municipality: 146,416 Linköping.jpg
25 Sweden Helsingborg 97,122 272,873[22] Municipality: 129,177 Helsingborg view.jpg
26 Norway Porsgrunn/Skien 90,621[10] Includes the neighbouring municipalities of Porsgrunn and Skien in its entirety, as well as a part of Bamble. Skien sentrum sett fra Brekkeparken.jpg
27 Sweden Jönköping 89,396 Municipality: 127,382 Jönköping from Stadsparken.JPG
28 Finland Kuopio 88,023[14] 167,753[22] Municipality: 105,229 Kuopio, Finland from Puijo tower.jpg
29 Sweden Norrköping 87,247 183,100[22] Municipality: 130,050 Dalsgatan Norrköping april 2005.jpg
30 Finland Pori 84,536[14] Municipality: 83,473 Pori, the river Kokemäki and the central city..jpg
31 Sweden Lund 82,800 Municipality: 110,488

No metro area, part of Malmö/Lund/Trelleborg metro region[22]

Stortorget lund 080508.jpg
32 Sweden Umeå 79,594 Municipality: 115,473 Umeå Blick auf Innenstadt mit Scandic-Hotel u. Stads kyrka.JPG
33 Denmark Esbjerg 72,398 Municipality: 116,032 Esbjerg fra oven.jpg
34 Sweden Gävle 71,033 184,346[22] Municipality: 95,055

Metropolitan area together with Sandviken[22]

Gävle-Gamla Stan 2.JPG
35 Finland Vaasa 67,979[14] Municipality: 66,401 Vaasa Trinity Church.jpg
36 Finland Joensuu 67,193[14] Municipality: 74,457 Joensuun pääkirkko.jpg
37 Sweden Borås 66,273 Municipality: 103,294 Boras.jpg
38 Sweden Eskilstuna 64,679 209,028[22] Municipality: 96,311 Eskilstuna flygbild1js-1.jpg
39 Sweden Södertälje 64,619 - Municipality: 86,246

No independent area, part of Greater Stockholm[22]

Saltsjöbron,utsikt, Södertälje.jpg
40 Denmark Randers 62,687 Municipality: 98,265 Randers Old Town Hall.jpg
41 Sweden Karlstad 61,685 179,486[22] Municipality: 85,753 East bridge karlstad 20061022 001.jpg
42 Sweden Täby 61,272 - Municipality: 63,789

No independent area, part of Greater Stockholm

Täby Centrum (shopping center) 2009.jpg
43 Sweden Växjö 60,887 156.629[22] Municipality: 83,005 LA2-vx06-vaxjosjon2.jpg
44 Norway Kristiansand 58,662[10] Municipality: 88,320 Kristiansand i den blå timen.jpg
45 Denmark Kolding 60,508 Municipality: 92,515 Kolding-centre.jpg
46 Sweden Halmstad 58,577 134,156[22] Municipality: 91,800 Hstd ctr-1.JPG
47 Denmark Vejle 56,567 Municipality: 114,140 Vejle-2004.jpg
48 Denmark Horsens 55,884 Municipality: 85,662 Horsens - gågaden.jpg
49 Finland Lappeenranta 55,510[14] Municipality: 72,748 Lap-ta 2.jpg
50 Finland Rovaniemi 52,481[14] Municipality: 61,166 Rovaniemi 06101999 rescanned.jpg
51 Finland Kotka 52,279[14] Municipality: 54,845 Kotkansaari1.jpg
52 Sweden Sundsvall 50,712 125,812[22] Municipality: 96,977 Sundsvall in Sweden from above.jpg

Note that the population numbers from the different countries are from different years, as Statistics Norway and Statistics Denmark release the statistic yearly (albeit at different times of the year), Statistics Sweden only release the figures every five years. The Norwegian data is from 2013,[10] the Danish data is from 2014,[23] the Swedish is from 2010[24] and the Finnish is from 2012.[14]

Also note that some of the statistics have been updated since the first note was made, so some statistics may be from 2018, while others from 2013, etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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)' 
  2. ^ "Localities 2010: Population, age and gender" (PDF) (in Swedish and English). Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 21 July 2014. A densely built area includes any cluster of buildings with at least 200 inhabitants, unless the distance between the houses exceeds 200 metres. However, the distance may exceed 200 metres if the cluster of buildings is situated within the area of influence of a larger locality. [...] Even if the distance between buildings exceeds 200 metres, the locality should not be divided if the area between the buildings is used for public purposes such as roads, parking spaces, parks, sports grounds and cemeteries. The same applies to undeveloped areas such as storage sites, railways and 
  3. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2017-12-22.  External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ (BY1)
  5. ^ OECD: Territorial Review Copenhagen, 2009, p. 34, ISBN 9789264060029
  6. ^ also obtainable through [1]
  7. ^ "Regioner, landsdele og kommuner. v 1.0: 2007- - Danmarks Statistik". Retrieved 2018-07-18. 
  8. ^ "The average Dane". 
  9. ^ Urban settlements by population and population density, 31 Dec 2016
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Citypopulation Norway Archived 2012-11-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ regionaldepartementet, Kommunal- og (2003-05-09). "St.meld. nr. 31 (2002-2003)". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-12-22. 
  12. ^ "Folketalet ved nyttår var 5 258 000". (in Norwegian Nynorsk). Retrieved 2017-12-22. 
  13. ^ Savage, Maddy (18 July 2018). "Oslo's rapid growth redefines Nordic identity" – via 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Urban settlements by population and population density, 31 Dec 2015
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ "Befolkning – Øresundsinstituttet". 
  17. ^ "Statistikbanken". 
  18. ^ "Statistikbanken". 
  19. ^ "Seutukuntien ennakkoväkiluku alueittain, elokuu 2013". Tiedote (in Finnish). Statistics Finland (Tilastokeskus). 2013-08-31. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2017-12-22.  External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ a b "Population 1. January by urban, rural areas (DISCONTINUED) - StatBank Denmark - data and statistics". 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "table". Retrieved 2017-12-22. 
  23. ^ "Denmark: Regions, Municipalities, Cities and Urban Areas - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". 
  24. ^ "Sweden: Counties, Cities, Municipalities, Settlements and Metropolitan Areas - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts".