The city's population is expected to increase by 11,000 this year alone. Photo: Justin Cremer
According to the City of Copenhagen's new population forecast, the city will grow by 11,000 inhabitants by the end of 2016 and by a full 100,000 by the year 2027.
“We will hit a milestone this year when we pass 600,000 Copenhageners. That means that we will continue to have an enormous need to build housing that Copenhageners with normal incomes can afford to buy,” Mayor Frank Jensen said in a statement.
The city's population forecast, released on Monday, pointed to two main reasons for the growth. The first is the number of births are far outpacing the number of deaths, with more and more young people starting families within the city limits.
In contrast to earlier trends in which young couples would move to the suburbs before having children, the past 15 years have seen an additional 19,000 young families settle down within Copenhagen.
Secondly, there has been increase in the number of foreigners moving to the capital for either work or study.
To meet the needs of the 100,000 people expected to move to Copenhagen within the next ten years, city officials say that an additional 45,000 residences must be built.
The housing shortage is expected to send Copenhagen property prices, which have increased by up to 20 percent in recent years, further through the roof.
Jensen wrote on Facebook on Monday that he hopes to earmark 9,000 of the new residencies for lower and middle-class workers.
“The coming years will shape Copenhagen for many, many decades. We can choose to have the city's new districts reflect the diversity we see in the rest of the city, or we can opt for residential areas that are off-limits to all others than the ultra-rich as we see in London, Paris and other large cities. I know which I prefer,” he wrote.
Although Copenhagen's population is expected to pass 600,000 this year, it will not match previous highs. Some 750,000 people lived within the city limits in the 1950s before a gradual retreat to the suburbs brought Copenhagen's population down to a low point of 465,000 in 1992.
Today, there are approximately two million people living in the Capital Region (Region Hovedstaden), which encompasses 29 suburban municipalities and also includes the approximately 40,000 inhabitants of the island of Bornholm.