Urenio Watch Watch: Cities

Urban Europe – Statistics on cities, towns and suburbs

urban-europeThis report, published by Eurostat on September 2016, provides detailed information for a number of territorial typologies that can be used to paint a picture of urban developments and urban life in the EU Member States, as well as European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and candidate countries.

Each chapter presents statistical information in the form of maps, tables and figures, accompanied by a description of the policy context and a set of main findings.

The publication is broken down into two parts:

  1. The first part of the publication focuses on the opportunities and challenges cities bring, the size and spatial distribution of urban development, the dominance of capital cities, the development of smart and green cities, as well as tourism and culture in cities
  2. The second part of the publication concentrates on the people who are born, live and work in cities. It begins with a broad description of life in cities and subsequently focuses on working in cities, the housing situation in cities, migration, poverty and social exclusion as well as satisfaction and quality of life in

The following figure presents the resident population in european cities, towns and suburbs. The information presented relates to the most recent reference year available for each city.



In 2014, the EU’‘28 unemployment rate (among those aged 15’“74) stood at 10.2 % in 2014. An analysis by degree of urbanisation reveals that the unemployment rate (10.9 %) for people living in cities was higher than that recorded for towns and suburbs or for rural areas (9.8 % in both).

An urban paradox exists in some cities with a high concentration of job opportunities alongside a large number of disengaged people who remain outside the labour market. It is something of a paradox that unemployment rates in the EU’‘28 were higher in cities, considering that cities provide the nucleus around which most of Europe’ s employment opportunities are based. In 2014, unemployment rates in cities were higher than those in towns and suburbs or rural areas in 12 of the EU Member States ‘” including Germany and the United Kingdom (see figure below).


Satisfaction and quality of life in cities

The inhabitants of Vilnius are the most satisfied with life in their city and the inhabitants of Athens the least satisfied.

When asked if they were satisfied to live in their city, most of the inhabitants of all 28 EU capital cities replied that they were. In 18 EU capitals, at least 9 out of 10 inhabitants were satisfied with life in their city. The highest satisfaction levels
were found in Vilnius, where 98% of the population was satisfied with life in their city, closely followed by Stockholm and Copenhagen (97% each), as well as Vienna and Luxembourg (96% each).

In 10 Member States satisfaction levels below 90% were reported. The lowest satisfaction levels were found in
Athens, where 71% of the population was satisfied with life in their city, followed by Rome (80%), as well as Bucharest and Paris (83% each).

Satisfaction with life in the city increased the most in Athens.

Compared with 2012, satisfaction with life in the city went up in most EU capital cities. The largest increases between 2012 and 2015 were observed for Athens (from a 56% satisfaction rate in 2012 to 71% in 2015, or +15%), followed by Budapest
(+6 pp) as well as Riga and Vilnius (both +5 pp), Brussels
and Bratislava (both +4 pp). In contrast, satisfaction with life in the city slightly dropped in five EU capital cities: Amsterdam, Berlin and Lisbon (all -2 pp) as well as Paris and Helsinki (both -1 pp).


  • Download the whole report here.