Luleå

Last updated: 13 1 2021

Luleå is the county town of Norrbotten, which makes up almost one quarter of Sweden. The city is beautifully located on the coast of the county, and is surrounded by water, which is the signature of Luleå. Here you are close to magnificent natural surroundings, and you experience all four seasons, with real winters with lots of snow as well as sunny summer days.

Facts about the municipality

Population numbers

78,157

Size by area

4,911 km²

Distance to larger towns

  • Skellefteå 131 km
  • Uleåborg 260 km
  • Umeå 265 km
  • Sundsvall 528 km

Luleå offers a broad range of outdoor and cultural life, as well as a lively and varied business scene. Luleå is also home to the northernmost technical university in Scandinavia, with around 19,000 students, as well as Sunderby hospital, which is the county hospital for Norrbotten.

Housing

Luleå has many different housing areas, with detached family houses, rented flats and tenant-owner flats. Lulebo is the municipal housing company, which administers rented flats. 91 per cent of Lulebo's tenants are happy with their housing. Lulebo can offer central locations, but also homes for those who want to be close to nature. You can also choose to rent housing from private housing companies. For newly arrived refugees, the municipal refugee reception help you find a flat.

View over the city of Luleå, with water in the foreground. A brick façade and a balcony in a block of flats can also be seen in the foreground.
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    Language groups in the locality

    Of the 75,000 inhabitants in Luleå, around 6,800 are born in another country. The most common language groups for persons with a non-Nordic background living in Luleå are Arabic, Persian, Dari, Thai, Burmese, Chinese, Tigrinya and English, to mention just a few.

    Associations and organisations

    Luleå has a broad range of associations, with more than 500 registered. They concern themselves with sports, culture, outdoor living and healthcare. There are also a number of churches and religious congregations. Luleå also has associations and organisations aimed at immigrants, among them the Islamic Association, the Swedish-Burmese Association and the Russian-Swedish association Sputnik, to mention just a few.

    What is available in the immediate area

    Living in Luleå gives you a greater choice. The short distances between home, work, school and leisure activities make life easier. Here you can find it all – nature experiences, sport, culture and entertainment, such as shops, restaurants, sport centres/gyms, cinemas and Norrbotten Theatre. Luleå also has the Culture House, which houses the city library, art gallery, concert halls and a café and restaurant. Luleå offers a broad range of music, with many choirs. There is game fishing close to the city at Hertsöträsket, only a few kilometres from Luleå, and several protected nature areas just on the doorstep of the city. Luleå is a city for shopping, with several malls in the centre and in the trading area Storheden just outside the city. Luleå also has several different second-hand shops, selling used furniture, technical and sports goods, textiles, clothes, china and books. Luleå is also a sporting city, with three popular elite teams, Luleå Hockey, LF Basket and Northland Basket. Arcushallen is one of the largest indoor arenas in Sweden for sport, trade fairs and more. Luleå has 15 sports halls and 23 sports grounds, 4 swimming pools and 5 ice rinks, as well as an indoor riding school.

    The employment service, tax office and social insurance office are located centrally, as is the social services office and the integration department's refugee reception.

    A pedestrian street in Luleå on a summer day. A woman is pushing a pram and has three children at her side. A man is seated in a wheelchair being pushed by another man. Two people are sitting on a bench.

    Childcare

    Luleå is the best choice for families with children. Here, you are close to everything, from nursery school to university. Luleå has nursery schools for children aged 1-5 years, and other education activities, such as family day nurseries for children aged 1-5 years, care outside normal hours, open meeting places for people who are at home with children, after-school clubs and independent nursery schools. Luleå's municipal nursery schools have a department adapted for children needing special support, such as reduced hearing/deafness, speech impediments and multiple disabilities.

    Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools

    Luleå municipality wants the nearest school to be the best school! It is the municipality's vision that Luleå's municipal schools shall be a learning environment where all children and students as well as staff are given the prerequisites to succeed.

    Each municipal school has a geographic area of responsibility, and the schools must in the first instance admit children who live within this area. Your child is thus guaranteed a place in one of the municipal schools close to your home. The municipal comprehensive school is free of charge.

    Luleå also has a culture school and Montessori school, as well as independent schools, such as Norrskenet, Nya Läroverket and Kvarnå Friskola in Niemisel.

    In Luleå, you can choose between attending Luleå Gymnasieby, which is the municipality's own upper secondary school, or one of the independent upper secondary schools. Luleå Gymnasieskola is located centrally in the campus area Luleå Gymnasieby, which houses around 2,300 pupils and 280 staff, gathered together in a creative and inspiring learning environment.

    Luleå also has special schools at comprehensive and upper secondary level located in the same buildings as the ordinary comprehensive and upper secondary schools.

    Education opportunities

    There is a broad range of options and great opportunities for those who wish to study. Municipal adult education provides the opportunity to read Swedish for Immigrants, and also gives social orientation for new arrivals. You can study at comprehensive or upper secondary level here.

    Adult education also offers opportunities to study vocational college courses, which are at post-upper secondary level and always fulfil a real demand from the labour market. This means that the content and aims of the courses vary, and are adapted continuously.

    Luleå can also offer special education for adults. The education is a voluntary form of schooling for persons who have turned 20 years and have a mental disability, autism or who have suffered brain damage as adults.

    Luleå also is home to Sunderby folk high school, which has a general programme and various courses. If you want to study at university, you can apply to Luleå Technical University, which has almost 19,000 students, where the courses have an emphasis in the area of technology. The university also offers large-scale teacher training, economics education and other social science education, as well as courses within music, dance, theatre and media. Applies research is also carried out in close collaboration with international and national companies.

    Five people are walking along a road of frozen ice on a sunny winter’s day. A man is walking a brown dog on a lead. Behind the people a tractor is clearing snow from the ice road.

    Health and medical care

    Luleå is part of Region Norrbotten, and there are currently nine health centres in the municipality. Health centres look after you throughout your life. When you are born and they weigh you and measure you at the child health care centre. When you have your first bout of tonsillitis, twist your ankle or get gastritis. When you get older and perhaps need regular tests and medication. Doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and all the others who are specialists in caring for the whole person. At health centres we want to provide the care you need when you need it.

    Luleå also has Sunderby hospital, which is a competency centre for all of Norrbotten's medical care. It is the county hospital, with specialist functions, but also the neighbourhood hospital for people living in Luleå and Boden. Sunderby hospital provides both emergency and planned medical care within all areas of specialisation, apart from thorax and neuro-surgery.

    The maternity department is the largest north of Uppsala, with just over 1,900 births per year. The hospital takes care of nearly all emergency operations in the county.

    In spring 2011, Sunderby hospital started to receive medical students, who carry out the last three years of their training at the hospital. A total of 60 future doctors, at various levels, study at the hospital simultaneously.

    Interpreter assistance

    If you do not speak or understand Swedish, you are entitled to help from an interpreter of your language when contacting public authorities. The authority involved orders the interpreter service. You are also entitled to an interpreter if you have impaired hearing or speech. Luleå has an interpreter service available to the inhabitants of the municipality. The interpreter service can offer a contact interpreter on location, or telephone interpreting. A service to translate documents and brochures is also available.

    Public transport

    In Luleå, you are close to almost everything. The centre is 10 minutes away from Luleå Airport, which is Sweden's fifth largest airport, with around 1 million passengers each year and around 15 daily connections to Arlanda, as well as both regional flights and foreign charters. Public transport in Luleå is well developed, with both the bus station and train station centrally located.

    Luleå is also a good city for walking and cycling, with 170 km of bicycle paths. It also has Sweden's most northerly harbour, which receives around 600 ships a year.

    View of Luleå from the sea. It is summer, and the water in front of the city is smooth as glass. A church tower sticks up among the roofs of the buildings.

    Work and entrepreneurship

    With 6,500 employees, the municipality is a major employer, responsible for schools, elderly care and streets and parks, among other things. The biggest industrial plants are SSAB Tunnplåt and Ferruform. Other major employers include Region Norrbotten and Coop Norrbotten. Of course there are also quite a few businesses linked to Luleå Technical University, including companies in the IT sector. Luleå Science Park, close to the university, is the largest technology business campus in Norrland, with around 80 knowledge enterprises. Facebook chose Luleå because of its high level of technical skills, natural cooling characteristics and stable electricity network. The data centre in the Porsön area will be the largest of its kind in Europe.