City Barometer 2019

The City Barometer is a comparison of 67 Swedish medium to large city centers. We analyze how these city centers measure up against one other in terms of demography, the economy, the labor market, and education, among other criteria. The aim is to try to understand what creates an economically strong city center.

 


Location

  • Sweden

Client

  • Internal research (by WSP Advisory team)

Project Status

  • Completed 2019

Jönköping’s urban core has the highest City Barometer Index, of 77, followed by Karlstad (76) and Lund (75). At the bottom is Falköping, with an index of 31.

 

The population of the city center is less than 10 percent of the population of the municipality.

In Lund, 78 percent of the population in the city center have a higher level of education, compared to 26 percent of Katrineholm residents. The national average is 41 percent.

 

Proportion of people employed in various sectors. The highest proportion of people employed in street-level businesses is in the Visby city center, with 35 percent. The highest share of people employed in the knowledge economy was in Oskarshamn with 49 percent, and the greatest proportion of employees in public administration was in Västervik, where 66 percent are employed in that sector.

Lund has Sweden’s least car-dense urban core, where the proportion of cars is only 37 percent of the vehicle density in the municipality as a whole, followed by Södertälje (56%) and Norrköping (57%). Car density is higher in Trollhättan’s urban core (82%).

 

The average population of Swedish city centers (excluding the three major cities). Norrköping’s urban core has the highest population, with 12,089 people. Mariestad has the smallest population in its city center, with 1,846 inhabitants.

 

Norrköping’s city center has the highest proportion of people under the age of 65, while Piteå is the town with the oldest population.

 

35 percent of the workers in Visby’s city center are employed in retail, hotels, and restaurants, which is the highest proportion in Sweden, where the average is 17 percent.

On average, the daytime population is 13 percent larger than the night-time population in Swedish city centers. The largest daytime population is in Umeå, which has over three times as many people in its city center by day than at night. At the other end of the scale is Eslöv, where the population is 30 percent lower during the day than at night.

The proportion of high-income earners in city centers (more than SEK 333,194 per year, per person). The highest proportion of high-income earners is located in the city center of Helsingborg, where it is 38 percent. The smallest proportion of high-income earners is in Kristinehamn’s city center, where the same figure is 9 percent.