Out of 100 people in the EU in 2014, 40 were living in densely-populated areas (or cities), 28 in thinly-populated (or rural) areas and 32 in intermediate areas (towns and suburbs). There are significant discrepancies between the EU member states, some of them having a mainly urban population while in others the population is mainly rural.
With an overall average score of 6.9 on a scale from 0 to 10, the EU urban population aged 16 and over was globally satisfied with their city’s offer of recreational and green spaces, albeit to a lesser extent than the population living in thinly-populated areas (7.4/10). In the EU in 2014, the share of the population living in cities stood at 40.2 percent in 2014, compared with 27.8 percent for rural areas and 32.0 percent for towns and suburbs. Across member states, more than half of the population was living in cities in the United Kingdom (58.6 percent) and Cyprus (54.7 percent). A large part of the population was also concentrated in urban areas notably in Spain (48.5 percent), Malta (48.0 percent), Bulgaria (45.7 percent) and the Netherlands (45.2 percent).
In contrast, the largest share of the population was living in rural areas in Luxembourg (51.0 percent), followed by Slovenia (49.8 percent), Lithuania (47.6 percent), Slovakia (45.6 percent), Denmark (44.4 percent), Ireland (43.5 percent) and Romania (43.1 percent). The population living in intermediate areas was predominant in Belgium (57.1 percent), while the population was almost evenly distributed between urban, intermediate and rural areas in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Finland.