City lights attracting younger residents

Growing numbers of professionals are moving into Swiss cities, reversing three decades of dwindling populations, a study has found.

This content was published on January 22, 2009 - 12:04

Urban hubs are mainly attracting young adults who are well educated and well off, according to a study published on Thursday by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Modern housing available in cities is most commonly snapped up by university educated people aged 30-45 who live either alone or as couples without children.

They prefer the practicalities, vibrancy and diversity of city life and the level of comfort in modern homes. They are also more likely to walk or take public transport than people in other age groups.

"Many want to take advantage of the opportunities in cities to balance their careers with their social life and life as a couple," said Patrick Rérat, one of the study authors.

The 25 largest towns and cities in Switzerland lost a total of ten per cent of their residents between 1970 and 2000 as people moved towards the peripheries. The study notes this tendency still exists but now happens later in life.

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