UA1 Population centres

  This is a pressure (P) indicator. DPSIR = drivers, pressures, state, impact, responses.  
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Urbanization and the expansion of population centres have been consistent to the worldwide trend in Finland. Area of population centres as well as their population have increased steadily. Total area of population centres was about 6 570 km2 in 2012, which corresponds to 80% increase since 1980. Number of people living in population centres increased by more than a million inhabitants during this time, and their share of the whole Finnish population increased eleven percentage units.

The population density in population centres has increased in 1980?2012. Number of inhabitants per km2 has decreased from 940 inhabitantas / km2 to 700 inhabitants / km2. The increasing population density results from expanding population centre areas and growing share of one-family houses. The increase of population density was fastest in the 1980s.

The differences between population centres have been significant in 1980?2012. In some population centres the population grows fast while in other it decreases. In smaller population centres the growth concentrates out of the centre. In larger population centres, especially in Uusimaa, the population increases strongest in the centre area.


Impact on biodiversity

Construction always changes the natural environment. Population centres expand to surrounding areas where primary species must either adapt to the changing environment or migrate elsewhere. For example many plant species occurences disappear from cleared areas either immediatly or gradually after some time.

Then again, urban areas are an important primary habitat for several species which are rare in or absent from other habitats (see also UA4). These species favour the special conditions of urban parks and ruderal habitats. For example predators are relatively few near population centres. Some species also benefit from fertilization of gardens and parks.

Population centres are not evenly distributed in Finland but centred in southern Finland and on the other hand the shores and coasts (see e.g. SH1).


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