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Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in Europe

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Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in Europe


The Briefing

  • 75% of Europe’s population lives in urban areas, but this could rise to nearly 84% by 2050
  • Six of the top 20 fastest growing cities in Europe are located in Russia

Ranked: The Top 20 Fastest Growing Cities in Europe

If you were to select a random person in Europe, there’s a 75% chance that person lives in an urban area rather than a rural one.

In the coming decades, this region’s urban population figure is expected to rise even higher, from 75% to 84% by 2050.

Based on projected average annual population growth rates between 2020-2025, which are the fastest growing cities in Europe?

Russian Might

Russia’s well-known for its expansive landmass, but the country is more than its vast terrain. In fact, it contains six of the top 20 fastest growing cities in Europe.

City Country 2020–2025 Growth Rate Capital city?
Balashikha 🇷🇺 Russia 2.01% No
Tyumen 🇷🇺 Russia 1.88% No
Tiranë (Tirana) 🇦🇱 Albania 1.63% 📍 Yes
Oslo 🇳🇴 Norway 1.38% 📍 Yes
Sochi 🇷🇺 Russia 1.33% No
Coventry-Bedworth 🇬🇧 UK 1.32% No
Stockholm 🇸🇪 Sweden 1.25% 📍 Yes
Lausanne 🇨🇭 Switzerland 1.23% No
Krasnodar 🇷🇺 Russia 1.22% No
Surgut 🇷🇺 Russia 1.17% No
Podolsk 🇷🇺 Russia 1.16% No
Dublin 🇮🇪 Ireland 1.12% 📍 Yes
London 🇬🇧 UK 1.12% 📍 Yes
Utrecht 🇳🇱 Netherlands 1.11% No
Göteborg 🇸🇪 Sweden 1.07% No
Toulouse 🇫🇷 France 1.07% No
Malmö 🇸🇪 Sweden 1.05% No
Montpellier 🇫🇷 France 1.04% No
Bordeaux 🇫🇷 France 0.99% No
Genève 🇨🇭 Switzerland 0.99% No

Interestingly, Balashikha—the fastest growing European city—is located just 25km (15 mi) outside Moscow. Rapid expansion at the peripheries of capital cities like this are typically attributed to a phenomenon called urban sprawl.

Although Balashikha is projected to experience the fastest annual rate of growth (2.01%) in the region over the next few years, when pitted against others on the global stage, it only ranks in 768th place.

Europe vs. Global

It’s important to note that Europe’s urban growth rates are relatively slow compared to many other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa.

Europe’s Fastest Growing Cities Growth Rate World’s Fastest Growing Cities Growth Rate
🇷🇺 Balashikha, Russia 2.01% 🇳🇬 Gwagwalada 6.46%
🇷🇺 Tyumen, Russia 1.88% 🇨🇩 Kabinda 6.37%
🇦🇱 Tiranë (Tirana), Albania 1.63% 🇧🇩 Rupganj 6.36%
🇳🇴 Oslo, Norway 1.38% 🇳🇬 Lokoja 5.93%
🇷🇺 Sochi, Russia 1.33% 🇦🇴 Uige 5.92%
🇬🇧 Coventry-Bedworth, UK 1.32% 🇧🇮 Bujumbura 5.75%
🇸🇪 Stockholm, Sweden 1.25% 🇹🇿 Songea 5.74%
🇨🇭 Lausanne, Switzerland 1.23% 🇨🇳 Xiongan 5.69%
🇷🇺 Krasnodar, Russia 1.22% 🇳🇬 Potiskum 5.65%
🇷🇺 Surgut, Russia 1.17% 🇨🇩 Bunia 5.63%
🇷🇺 Podolsk, Russia 1.16% 🇲🇿 Tete 5.56%
🇮🇪 Dublin, Ireland 1.12% 🇦🇴 Cuito 5.48%
🇬🇧 London, UK 1.12% 🇮🇳 Hosur 5.38%
🇳🇱 Utrecht, Netherlands 1.11% 🇧🇯 Abomey-Calavi 5.27%
🇸🇪 Göteborg, Sweden 1.07% 🇳🇬 Nnewi 5.18%
🇫🇷 Toulouse, France 1.07% 🇦🇴 Malanje 5.17%
🇸🇪 Malmö, Sweden 1.05% 🇨🇲 Mbouda 5.16%
🇫🇷 Montpellier, France 1.04% 🇲🇿 Quelimane 5.14%
🇫🇷 Bordeaux, France 0.99% 🇺🇬 Kampala 5.14%
🇨🇭 Genève, Switzerland 0.99% 🇨🇩 Goma 5.14%

From 2020-2025, the world’s fastest growing city, Gwagwalada, Nigeria, is expected to grow more than 3x faster than Europe’s fastest growing city, Balashikha.

» Like this? Then check out the fastest growing cities in the United States.

Where does this data come from?

Source: UN World Urbanization Prospects 2018, Statista, European Commission
Details:: The growth rate is measured by an average annual rate of change of urban agglomeration, with 300,00 or more in 2018 (%).
Coventry-Bedworth are technically separate locales, but the UK Office for National Statistics counts them together as one conurbation (an extended urban area).



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