• Posted 11-Sep-2016

Urban Europe - statistics on cities, towns and suburbs - the urban paradox

Urban areas are often characterised by their high concentrations of population, economic activity, employment and wealth with the daily flow of commuters into many of Europe’s largest cities suggesting that opportunities abound in these hubs of innovation, distribution and consumption, many of which act as focal points within their national economies and in some cases within Europe or even globally.

Although cities are motors for economic growth, they are also confronted by a wide range of problems, like crime, traffic congestion, pollution and various social inequalities. Furthermore, within many cities it is possible to find people who enjoy a comfortable lifestyle living in close proximity to others who may face considerable challenges, for example, in relation to affordable/adequate housing or poverty — herein lies the ‘urban paradox’

Some of the most important paradoxes οf the study are the following:

  • In some ways the relative importance of predominantly urban regions was greater in the most sparsely populated EU Member States
  • In several western and southern EU Member States, employment rates were often lower in predominantly urban regions
  • Employment rates tended to be higher, but job satisfaction was no greater in cities …
  • A higher share of people living in cities reported having an income that was 150 % or more of the national median …but a greater share of people living in cities were unemployed
  • Although people living in cities generally paid more for their housing they got less space for their money
  • While cities have a highly educated population, they were also characterised by problems related to crime, violence or vandalism
  • People living in cities with dynamic labour markets often faced great difficulties in finding adequate housing at a reasonable price

More information: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Urban_Europe_%E2%80%94_statistics_on_cities,_towns_and_suburbs_%E2%80%94_the_urban_paradox