Umeå

Last updated: 29 1 2021

Umeå is located immediately northwest of the delta of the Ume River where the river runs out into the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia. The town is the county town for Västerbotten county and is Norrland’s largest urban area.

Facts about the municipality

Population numbers

129,231

Size by area

5,277 km²

Distance to larger towns

  • Skellefteå 135 km
  • Sundsvall 264 km
  • Östersund 363 km
Rådhusesplanaden with buses, residential buildings and shops. View down towards the railway station.

The municipality has a total of around 120,000 residents. However, the number of residents is increasing reapidly each year thanks to the good opportunities for education and stable growth which has been ongoing for a long time. As the town has many students, Umeå is also one of the country's "youngest" towns with an average age of 38 years.

Housing

It is not so easy to get accommodation in Umeå as demand is greater than access to properties. At the same time, the aim of the town is to increase the number of residents so a lot of construction is being undertaken despite everything.​

Older and newer block of flats. Cranes can be seen where new homes are being built.

The municipal accommodation company AB Bostaden has the largest selection in the town of flats with the right of tenancy. The company also has flats with the right of tenancy in other parts of the community, such as in Holmsund, Obbola, Ersmark and Sävar. Of course, to search for accommodation and commute from neighbouring municipalities is also an alternative.

Language groups in the locality

In addition to the Scandinavian languages and English, the largest language groups are Arabic, Somali, Tigrinya and Dari amongst others.

Associations and organisations

There are many ethnic and religious associations, but also associations covering many other areas. There is also a number of adult educational associations.

A skateboarding park with young people talking and doing tricks on their bicycles. Large brick buildings can be seen in the background.

What is available in the immediate area

Most authorities and other social services such as the job centre, social welfare office, regional social insurance office and Umeå municipal library are collected in the town centre.

City Hall, a large brick building with towers and pinnacles and with a park in front of it.

As far as retail and trading is concerned, the town centre has around 200 shops, several galleries, restaurants, cafés and pubs. The central parts have a range of entertainment and cultural activities including Norrland Opera, theatres, cinemas and museums. Many festivals and other events are also organised within the fields of culture and entertainment in the town at regular intervals.

The centre of Umeå with a shopping centre and a market square with stalls. Many people of different ages are moving around the square or sitting and enjoying the sun.

On the outskirts of the town are situated a number of shopping centres, superstores and specialist shops. There are also second-hand shops run by the municipality in the district of Gimonäs. They sell used furniture, household appliances, bicycles and much else besides. Examples of other second-hand stores in the town are Myrorna, Röda Korset and PMU/Pingstkyrkans secondhand.

Umeå has a wide range of sports facilities. Here you can find everything from modern sports centres to simple running tracks. Under the sports, exercise and outdoor life section of the municipality's website you'll find information about the facilities and locations. You can also find out more about other types of outdoor life pursuits and recreation within the municipality.

Childcare

As far as childcare is concerned, there are various alternatives, types and solutions.

Comprehensive and upper secondary schools

In Umeå municipality there are 49 municipal comprehensive schools divided into geographical school areas and a number of independent schools with different emphases.

The town has four municipal upper secondary schools and a number of independent alternatives. There are also several specialist schools with an intake from all over the country. The municipality also collaborates with Lilja School in Vännäs. All this combined means students here have many options from which to choose the right education for them.

Education opportunities

There are two universities in Umeå. One is Umeå University, which also houses eight colleges. There is also Korta vägen which is complementary education for foreign academics. Umeå University also has one of the country's police training courses. The town's other university is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences where certified foresters amongst other receive their training.

On municipality's page for adult education there is information regarding komvux, distance learning courses, vocational college training and apprenticeship training amongst other things. The website for tuition in Swedish for immigrants, sfi, can be found on the Viva Komvux website. There are also several folk high schools in the immediate vicinity.

Health and medical care

In Umeå municipality you'll find Norrland University Hospital, a number of welfare centres and national health dentists.

Interpreter assistance

The option of receiving interpreting help is offered when contacting the authorities. Many authorities also provide plenty of information in several different languages.

Public transport

There are good quality communication links with the rest of the world, within the region and in the town itself. Umeå Airport is located just four kilometres from the centre of Umeå. There is a lot of traffic between Umeå and Stockholm with many flight departures every day and also to other destinations – both within Sweden and beyond.

​With respect to the railways, it is Norrtåg which operates passenger trains with lines to the north and within the country, but especially south along the coast of Norrland. There are express trains to Örnsköldsvik and Sundsvall with the option of continuing the journey to Stockholm for example.

Passengers on a platform are getting on a train to Sundsvall.

All the information regarding timetables for local transport and regional buses is collected on the county transport's portal for public transport tabussen.nu. In addition, European routes E4 and E12 pass Umeå when there is then ferry connections to Vasa in Finland.

Public transport in the municipality

Work and entrepreneurship

The major public employers in the municipality are Umeå municipality, Region Västerbotten and Umeå University. Good transport links also allow people to commute to work in neighbouring municipalities including Örnsköldsvik, Vännäs and Vindeln.

There are many companies in Umeå and many new companies are being established. Examples of industries which are growing include IT and telecommunications, education, research and the private and service sectors.