Nature and Culture|
Öland is Sweden's second largest island, 1 342 km² and has about 25 000 inhabitants. Since 1980 the population of Öland has increased by about 2 000 (8%). This relatively large population growth is largely due to the fact that the central parts of Öland have become attractive residential areas for large numbers of mainland commuters since the construction of the Öland bridge.
The population density is 19 people/km², which can be compared with the national average of 21 persons and EU's average of 147 persons/km2. Age structure shows that Õland has a relatively large portion of the population over 65 years of age (20.7%).
Sandstone, slate and lime-stone make up Õland's bedrock. The limestone base and climate have produced a flora that has a wealth of rare plants. On the Stora Alvaret on southern Õland - the treeless 40 km long steppe - the limestone is often exposed or only slightly covered by a thin layer of earth. The Alvaret is unique as a landscape type for Northern Europe. Another kind of countryside meets one upon proceeding northward from the Alvaret towards the Borgholm district: Southern Sweden's largest continuous deciduous forest. Öland is an ancient cultural landscape. The many grave fields and ancient defence fortifications which the nomads built for their defence during the Migratory ages provide a vigorous reminder of prehistoric times.
The windmill is Öland's most prominent symbol. From an earlier 2 000 windmills, the remaining approx. 400 have been classified as cultural monuments and are maintained by the many local associations active on the island. During recent years wind power has come to the fore again and a number of modern wind power generators have been erected on Õland.
Business life on Öland is based on agriculture with related processing industries and fishing. 24% of those actively employed are engaged in agriculture and fishing and in the processing industry dependent on these sectors. Aside from that there are a large number employed in different service companies, also to a large degree dependent on the agriculture sector. Öland's business life is therefore very sensitive to any changes affecting primary agricultural production.
The tourist industry is important and is a source of a large number of private service jobs mostly within the hotel and restaurant business. As well, there are a large number of free-lance artisans and there is a keen handicraft tradition which has good potential for development. Food processing and the stone quarry industry dominate the industrial sector.
|Area||1 342 km²||Employment:|
|Inhabitants||25 500||Agriculture incl forestry, fishing||15 %|
|Population density / km²||19||Manufacturing||12 %|
|Largest town - Färjestaden (inh.)||4 500||Construction||6 %|
|Population distribution, in towns||Public services||43 %|
|with more than 1000 inh.||29 %||Private services||12 %|
|Population structure, age||Transport, communication||5 %|
|0 - 19||26 %||Others||7 %|
|20 - 59||48 %||Shortest distance to nearest territory||6 km|
|60 - ..||26 %||Shortest distance to mainland||6 km|
|Approx, number of visitors per year||2.0 mio||Shortest distance to capital||300 km|
|Home Islands Organisation Contacts Intranet|
|© Baltic Sea Seven Island Co-operation Network|