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Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way
WEB MAGAZINE - February 2018

The Nordic Region is strong and growing

The Nordic economy is doing well and despite the various challenges linked to ongoing global market changes, the Nordic’s recovery rate after the economic crisis has been impressive, shows the the new edition of the biennal report State of the Nordic Region.

The Nordic countries are generally performing well above the EU average when it comes to economic development, despite the ongoing impact of the economic crisis. From a macro-regional perspective, the Nordics constitute a very coherent region. Nevertheless, large and economically significant variations remain at the regional level.

Below the national level, many of the sparsely populated or inland municipalities are falling further behind the main metropolitan areas. Despite this, the northern parts of Denmark, Finland and Sweden all rank very highly on the more broadly focused European Social Progress Index.

The Nordics also remain an attractive destination for foreign investment, accounting for 7% of Europe’s total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in-flows, despite constituting only a small segment of the European population (less than 4%).

Sweden boasts the highest employment rate in the EU while Iceland has the highest rate in all of Europe. A high employment rate for women stand out and remains a basic feature of Nordic labour markets. The Nordic model, with its wage structures and low share of unskilled jobs, makes integration into the labour market challenging for newly arrived immigrants.

Stockholm comes out first in the Nordregio Regional Potential Index produced as part of the State of the Nordic Region report. The report was last issued in 2016, where the Oslo region came out on top. In 2018, Oslo has dropped to third place, overtaken by Copenhagen, but with Stockholm as the overall winner.

Photo: Ricky John Molloy/