In this overview, you will find the top of the fastest-growing capital cities in Europe in terms of population. We have looked at the period from 2012 to 2018. The population figures are based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics in the Netherlands, Eurostat, and the United Nations.
We can already reveal one thing. If the city has grown less than 112% in population within this period, it is not in the top 10. If you are planning a trip to one of these cities, we recommend you check out our article on finding cheap flights.
Which cities fell just outside the top 10 fastest growing capital cities?
Madrid, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Kyiv have experienced considerable growth in residents in recent years. All have grown even more than 10%. Yet these cities fall just outside the top 10. Berlin was in 14th place with a growth of 10.4%. Amsterdam achieved 11.5% growth and Madrid 11.7% Kyiv finished 11th with no less than 12.3% growth.
10. Rome, Italy
Rome narrowly preceded Kyiv and gained the 10th place. The capital of Italy grew by no less than 12.5%. In 2005 the population of Rome amounted to 2,554,000 and this increased to 2,873,000 in 2018. If we counted the metropolitan region, the number counts around 3.8 million inhabitants.
9. Helsinki, Finland’s fastest-growing city
Helsinki has experienced slightly more growth than Rome. The Finnish capital grew from 560,000 to 632,000 inhabitants. In percentages, this is just under 13% at 12.9%. The total population of Finland grew by 6% to 5.5 million inhabitants during this period. The growth is partly due to the high life expectancy in Finland for almost 82 years.
8. Ljubljana, Slovenia
A city that is not only becoming more popular with the people of Slovenia itself but also becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Ljubljana grew from 247,000 to 279,000 inhabitants. For a European capital, this is, of course, more a village than a metropolis. Nevertheless, this growth accounts for 113%. The growth that gets Ljubljana position 8 in our top 10 fastest growing capitals in Europe.
7. Tirana, Albania
Tirana has grown by no less than 13.2%. In 2005 the city still had 781,000 inhabitants. In 2018 this number had risen to 884,000. In Tirana, growth is mainly due to urbanization. More and more people move from the countryside to the capital city.
6. Moscow, Russia
Moscow is not only growing because more and more people are moving to the city, but also because of a decrease in child mortality and an increase in life expectancy. In 2005, Moscow had around 10,430,000 inhabitants in 2018, compared to 11,920,000, a growth of 14.3%. Moscow is the largest city in terms of population in Europe.
5. Vienna, Austria
Vienna, situated on the Danube River, grew slightly more in percentage terms. 1,633,000 to 1,889,000, a growth of 15.7%. Vienna is also quite large in terms of area (414.6 km2). This is approximately twice as large as Amsterdam. In addition to the capital, Vienna is also its own state in Austria.
4. London, United Kingdom
London keeps on growing. It swallows surrounding smaller municipalities. Most of the growth comes from migration to this capital. Also from abroad. London grew from 7,476,000 inhabitants in 2005 to 8,900,000 in 2018. A growth of no less than 19%.
3. Copenhagen, Denmark as one of the three fastest-growing capital cities in Europe
Just a little more growth than London, Copenhagen experienced. The capital of Denmark grew from 502,000 to 602,000 inhabitants. A growth of 19.9%. Copenhagen is also not a big city in terms of surface area. With around 88 square kilometers, the city is almost three times smaller than Amsterdam.
2. Oslo, Norway
The cities in Scandinavia grew fast. Oslo grew by no less than 27.2%. Whereas the city still had 529,000 inhabitants in 2005, the population in 2018 was already 673,000. Oslo still seems to have plenty of room to grow. The city has a larger area than Vienna and, by European standards, a very low population density.
1. Ankara, Turkey
One of the not so fastest-growing capital cities; Athens
Although almost every European capital increased in population and a few remained virtually the same, the population of Athens decreased considerably. The population of the city fell by no less than 104,000 inhabitants. From 768,000 in 2005 to 664,000 in 2018. Highly educated young people, in particular, seem to be leaving the city en masse and moving to other European capitals such as London, Amsterdam, and Berlin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which cities were part of the Research?
We have included all European Capital cities. We have also included the capital cities of Russia and Turkey
Where does the data come from?
We have used well-researched data from the Dutch Bureau for statistics as well as data from the United Nations and Eurostat.
When was this research conducted
We have conducted our research in January 2020