Alvesta, pop. 18,802, is one of small town in Sweden that hopes to draw young people to settle there. Photo: Hans Runesson / Scanpix
population growth

Small towns compete to attract young people

"Every municipality in Sweden wants more people"
4:22 min

Some of Sweden's smaller municipalities sent representatives to the capital city over the weekend to try to hook new inhabitants during a fair, called 'Move Here.'

Kim Linstedt, a communications officer for the southern municipality of Alvesta was there with his booth. He describes Alvesta as "beautiful" and "rural", a place that he says offers a less-stressful lifestyle and a welcoming community.

Known for its sawmills, steel industry and railroad, Alvesta, population 18,802, is especially looking for young people to move there and start families.

"Then again, every municipality is hunting for those kind of people, so it's a stiff competition," says Linstedt, laughing.

The southeastern city of Nyköping, which has a little less than double the population of Alvesta, also had representatives at the fair. Over the last six years, Nyköping has spent some US$ 3 million on an ad campaign to try to entice Stockholm's citydwellers to move there, according to Stockholm City newspaper.

The tiny northern town of Pajala with a population just under 2,000, has even set up a webcam, so that Internet visitors can get a glimpse of life there.

"Most people that we talked to left our little area with a smile on their face," says Linstedt, "and hopefully the beginning of a thought to move down here or actually visit on vacation."

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