Skip to main content
Logotip Europske komisije
EU Science Hub

Increasing or declining urban populations - the future of cities

An ageing Europe will struggle with challenges related both to growing populations in some cities and declining populations in others.

  • 22% of EU citizens currently live in cities may lose more than 10% of their population by 2050.
  • 42% of EU citizens currently live in cities that can increase their population by more than 10%.

Over half of European cities will see their population decline.

One in three will grow by more than 10% in the next 30 years.

  • More than 50% growth: Functional urban areas such as Luxembourg, Stockholm and Brussels.
  • 25-50% growth: Medium size capitals (Vienna, Budapest, Prague) and large regional cities (Munich, Bologna). The FUA of London will also see a high population increase (>25%).
  • Loss of more than 25%: Small cities in Eastern Germany, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

Related challenges include the

  • rejuvenation of abandoned inner-city areas,
  • optimisation of public space,
  • adaptation of services and infrastructure to an older population.

Download the report

The future of cities - opportunities, challenges and the way forward

Visual: 42% of EU citizens currently live in cities that can increase their population by more than 10% by 2050. 22% of people live in cities that may decrease by 10% by 2050.

Related Content

Report: The future of cities - opportunities, challenges and the way forward