Aerial view of Malmö

Malmö is Sweden’s fastest growing large city

Malmö is Sweden’s fastest growing large city

This year it has registered a demographic increase that surpasses those of Stockholm and Gothenburg taken together

Last week, the Malmö municipal website reported that the Swedish city not only keeps growing but it does so at an astounding rate. For the first time in its history, its population clocked in above 350,000 residents.

Apparently, this year its demographic increase is larger than those of Stockholm and Gothenburg taken together. This makes it currently the fastest-growing large city in the Scandinavian country.

What are the reasons behind that?

Experts have proposed that there is a combination of factors to explain the ongoing population growth despite pandemic conditions. In essence, it has to do with three such factors: more newborns, lower mortality and a record internal migration. All of these attest to the fact that the city has become increasingly attractive for living and that it offers an improving quality of life.

The number of newborns has so far been high this year. In 2020, almost 4,900 children were born, and that number is expected to rise in 2021 and be among the highest we have seen in the last 50 years. At the same time, relatively few Malmö residents are dying, and even though mortality increased in 2020 and a bit into 2021, the number of deaths has now begun to return to the low level we saw in the years before the pandemic,” explained Karl McShane, social strategist at the City of Malmö.

Immigration also affects population growth. During the pandemic, there has been a sharp decrease in immigration numbers in Malmö when the COVID restrictions were introduced and several countries closed their borders.

Immigration is also expected to be at a lower level in the future, partly due to new legislation that makes it more difficult to obtain a permanent residence permit in Sweden. With regard to emigration, there has been no major change in the number of people leaving Malmö.

However, immigration is not only a phenomenon that occurs across national borders, it also happens between municipalities of the same country. It turns out that Malmö had not seen this kind of influx of people from other municipalities since the 1960s!

Most of these people came from the smaller towns of Sweden’s southernmost region Skåne, which is also home to Malmö. That also means that although the pandemic might have provided a respite to urbanization, it did not spell its end at all.



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