There is something special about Umeå. It is usually said by those who come here and those who have lived here a little while and then moved away: “There’s something special about Umeå.” Exactly what this something special is can be difficult to pinpoint. However, it is something about the people, Umeå’s residents themselves.
Umeå is known as the young university city, the culture city, the festival city, the floorball Mecca, the city of birches and even as the city of the famous Björklöven ice hockey teams, ladies’ football and much else. This is all true and correct. However, above all else, Umeå is “the open city”.
“So, you’re from Solna...”
Sit down at any café table or bar counter and it will not be long before someone starts up a conversation, asking about you and where you are from. Not in a pushy way, just friendly and inquisitive. “So, you’re from Solna. I’m from Sarajevo.” (It could just as easily be Malmö or Tallinn, etc.) “I came five years ago and think I’ll stop a little longer, perhaps always.” The conversation is under way!
The foregoing little scenario holds at least part of the explanation of Umeå’s “something special” – the influx of people. Over the past 50 years, Umeå’s population has trebled. This growth is continuing at a rapid pace. The average age is now just 38. Thus, most Umeå residents are relatively young and “new”. It is only natural for newcomers to seek contact. In Umeå, this is easy.
Open to new and different
The influx from near and far has turned Umeå into a cosmopolitan city with an atmosphere characterised by openness partnered with just the right amount of inquisitiveness. Today’s Umeå people, new and native alike, have an accepting attitude towards new thoughts and ideas, different behaviours and lifestyles. The different is not strange. Quite the opposite, it is exciting; something to learn from, to try out. It has contributed to the dynamism in our commerce, industry and culture. However, above all else, it has shaped the way we are with each other, how we interact socially.
Even if you are only on a short visit to our city, you will notice this openness and friendliness. Test it at the nearest café.
Of course, there is also much more that is special about Umeå. Great shopping, small preschool groups, low crime rate and long, light summer nights when anything can happen. However, that is another story!
Umeå in brief
- Population - 123 000
- Average age - 38
- Universities - 2
- Students - 36,700
- Walking- and biking paths - 262 km
- Exercise trails - 160 km