Land Use and Population Density in the Baltic Sea Drainage Basin: A GIS Database
We present a Geographic Information System (GIS) database of the large-scale
drainage basin of the Baltic Sea. A set of GIS map layers were created and used to
generate information on the current landscape characteristics and population
distribution patterns in the drainage basin. Such data can be generated at the 92 mesoscale subdrainage basins, at the seven major subdrainage basins, and at the drainage
basin as a whole, as well as by nations. Forests dominate in the drainage basin (48%
coverage), followed by arable land (20% ), and non-productive open lands (17%).
Sweden and Finland contain 60 percent of total forest land, while most of the
drainage basin's agricultural land is located in Poland. Wetlands cover roughly eight
percent of the drainage basin. Of the 85 million people living in the Baltic Sea
drainage basin, the vast majority (64%) live in the drainage areas of the Baltic Proper.
Forty-five percent of people in the drainage basin live in Poland. About 22 million
people (26%) live within metropolitan areas, 45 percent in towns or small cities, and
29 percent are rural. Nearly 15 million people live within a 10 km distance from the
Baltic coast. Expanding to a 50 km distance from the coastline, we find 43percent of
the total populated area and 31percent of the total population.
Type: Staff Publications
Year of publication: 1996
Publisher: AMBIO A Journal of the Human Environment
Place of publication: Sweden and Norway