The city of Umeå, described as the capital of
northern Sweden, is one of the fastest growing cities in Sweden.
Umeå currently has a population of 122 892(year 2016) inhabitants
with a very high proportion of young people, thanks to the
university. The city, founded in 1622 by King Gustav II Adolf, was
largely destroyed by fire in 1888. During rebuilding thousands of
birch trees were planted to prevent future fires from spreading.
The birch population has been maintained ever since, earning Umeå
the nickname of City of Birches, in Swedish "Björkarnas stad".
Today, Umeå is a dynamic centre for both
education and industry, with the university as the biggest
employer. Umeå also houses the Swedish University of Agricultural
Sciences, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency. Larger
industries which operates in Umeå Volvo Truck
Corporation manufacturing truck parts, Komatsu
Forest AB producing forest industry machines and Ålö AB, manufacturing agricultural
Umeå is also a centre for leisure and
pleasure, with a wide and varied range of cultural and sporting
activities on offer. The Norrlands Opera is known nationwide for
its unusual and unconventional performances of classical and modern
opera. The town has a very lively jazz and pop music scene, and
host the popular and well known Umeå Jazz festival and the MADE
festival (Music, Art, Dance, Etc). Festivals of folk music, pop
music, and a ballad festival are also held here. Several permanent
theaters, concerts halls, cinemas, pubs, and nightclubs, add to the
choice of entertainment all year round.
In the IKSU
Sports Center students can choose from activities like
swimming, cross-country skiing, floorball, volleyball, different
forms of workout training, rock climbing etc. Umeå is represented
in the first and second divisions of the national leauges in
volleyball, soccer, icehockey, and basketball, and every year
during May the annual event "Brännbollscupen" is organized on
campus. It is the largest rounders tournament in the world.