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Unemployment typology

The map shows a typology of European regions by combining information on pre-pandemic unemployment rates with unemployment rates in 2020, based on the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) that is measured in November. On one axis, the typology considers the extent of the change in the unemployment rate between 2019 and 2020. On the other axis, it considers whether the unemployment rate in 2020 was above or below the EU average of 7.3%. Regions are divided into four types based on whether the unemployment rate decreased or increased and how it relates to the EU average. Regions falling into the first type, shown in red on the map, had an increase in the unemployment rate in 2020 as well as an above-average unemployment rate in general in 2020. These regions were most affected by the pandemic. They are mainly found in northern and central parts of Finland, southern and eastern Sweden, the capital area of Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and central parts of France. Regions falling into the second type, shown in orange on the map, had an increase in the unemployment rate in 2020 but a below-average unemployment rate in general in 2020. These regions had low pre-pandemic unemployment rates and so were not as badly affected as the red regions, despite the rising unemployment rates. They are located in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Åland, southern and western Finland, Sweden (Gotland, Jönköping, and Norrbotten), Estonia, Ireland, northern Portugal and central and eastern parts of Europe.

Change in the number of births in Europe

The map shows the number of births during the first nine months of 2021 (January to September) compared to the number of births during the same months in 2020. The babies born during the first nine months of 2021 were conceived between the spring and winter of 2020 when the first waves of the pandemic affected Europe. Babies born during the first nine months of 2020 were conceived in 2019 (i.e., before the pandemic). The map therefore compares the number of births conceived before and during the pandemic. At the time of writing, it seems as if both baby boom and baby bust predictions have been correct, with developments playing out differently across countries. In many Southern and Eastern European countries, such as Spain, Italy or Romania, the number of births declined by more than 1% during the first nine months of 2021. In Portugal and Poland, but also Greenland, drops in the number of births were particularly sharp with more than 5% fewer babies born in 2021. In several of these “baby bust” countries, these decreases in fertility came on top of already low fertility rates. Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland, for instance, all already had a total fertility rate (TFR) of less than 1.5 children per woman before the crisis. These values are substantially below the so-called ‘replacement ratio’ of 2.1 children per woman, which is necessary to maintain population size. In these countries, existing demographic challenges have thus been aggravated during the pandemic.

Change in life expectancy 2019–2020 by country in Europe

The excess mortality has affected overall life expectancy at birth across Europe. In 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy had the highest life expectancy in Europe, followed closely by Sweden, Iceland, France, and Norway. Finland and Denmark had slightly lower levels but were still at or above the EU average (Eurostat, 2021). Life expectancy across the EU as a whole and in nearly all other countries has been steadily increasing for decades. Declines in life expectancy are rare, but that is indeed what happened in many countries in Europe during the pandemic in 2020. One study of upper-middle and high-income countries showed that life expectancy declined in 31 of 37 countries in 2020. The only countries where life expectancy did not decline were New Zealand, Taiwan, Iceland, South Korea, Denmark and Norway. The largest falls were in Russia and the United States. The high excess mortality in Sweden in 2020 has had an impact on life expectancy. In Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, life expectancy went up for both sexes in 2020 (data not yet available for Greenland and Åland). In Sweden, life expectancy fell by 0.7 years for males from 81.3 years to 80.6 and for females by 0.4 years from 84.7 to 84.3 years. The steeper decline in life expectancy for males is consistent with the larger number of excess deaths among males.  Thus, compared to other Nordic countries, the adverse mortality impact of the pandemic has been greater in Sweden. However, when comparing Sweden to the rest of Europe, it is the Nordic countries, other than Sweden, which are exceptional. The trend among countries in Europe is for a fall in life expectancy in 2020. The largest declines were in countries in southern and eastern Europe. Italy and…

Accessibility gains from virtual health rooms in Västerbotten

To secure better access to general practitioners for the rural population, the region of Västerbotten has developed the concept of virtual healthrooms (VHRs). These VHRs are unstaffed, which means that they have no regular health personnel in situ. They are equipped with distance-spanningtechnology, which means that patients can go there to take consultations from a practitioner online, conducting health checks such as measuringblood pressure or heart rate. The coloured patches on the map show those populated areas in Västerbotten where inhabitants can expect a reduction of travel distance to primary health care through the implementation of VHRs. The coloured patches are populated areas in Västerbotten (by 1000*1000m grid) with improved accessibility of health care resulting from the implementation of virtual health rooms. The colour indicates the total distance reduced.Distance is measured as being via the road network. The average distance to the closest primary health care facility (health centre or virtual health room) is 6 km for the overall population in Västerbotten. The implementation of VHRs means that around 3.5% of the 270,000 inhabitants of Västerbotten experience increased accessibility toa primary health care service. The travel distance for this portion of the population has been cut by almost 50%, from 42 km per person to 23 km per person. Patients may also use virtual health rooms to conduct teleconsultations with health professionals at specialised hospitals, which creates even greater potential from an accessibility standpoint.

Household disposable income – gross regional product ratio 2016

This map shows the ratio between household disposable income (HDI) and gross regional product (GRP) at regional level across Europe in 2016. A ratio of around 1 indicates that HDI and GRP are at a similar level, in which case GRP could be an accurate measure of individual material wellbeing. A lower value indicates a greater difference between the two values, meaning that GRP cannot be used as a proxy for highlighting the economic situation of the population in a region. The ratio between HDI and GRP for European regions in 2016 ranges from 0.24 to 0.92, with an average of 0.60. Regions with the lowest ratio are mostly capital city regions, although regions of Ireland also have a low ratio. This is partly due to the presence of large companies transferring some of the generated income to foreign countries (e.g. the country where the company’s headquarter is located). Regions, where HDI is similar to GRP, are mostly peripheral regions in countries such as France, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom, for instance in Southern Scotland (0.91). In the Nordic regions (NUTS 2 level), the value of HDI is on average half the value of GRP, meaning that GRP cannot be used as a good proxy for highlighting the economic situation of the population in these regions. Many regions in Norway and Sweden, as well as Iceland, are close to this Nordic average value of 0.52, which is lower than the European average. Read the digital publication here.

Regional innovation scoreboard 2019

This map shows the regional innovation scoreboard (RIS) in the European regions in 2019. The small map shows the innovation scoreboard at national level. The index shows the performance of innovation systems, classified into four main performance groups (leader, strong, moderate and modest). The European innovation scoreboard provides a comparative assessment of the research and innovation performance in European countries. It assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems and helps countries identify areas they need to address. The Regional innovation scoreboard (RIS), a regional extension of the European innovation scoreboard, assesses the innovation performance of European regions on a limited number of indicators. The RIS 2019 covers 238 regions across 23 EU countries, as well as Norway, Serbia and Switzerland. Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Malta are also included at country level. The RIS 2019 is a comparative assessment of regional innovation based on the European innovation scoreboard methodology, using 18 of the latter’s 27 indicators. It provides a more detailed breakdown of the performance groups with contextual data that can be used to analyse and compare structural economic, business and socio-demographic differences between regions. The Nordic regions are doing well in an overall RIS comparison regarding innovation performance. There are, however, considerable differences in innovation performance between the Nordic regions. For example, the capital regions have higher levels of innovation performance than more rural and peripheral regions, according to RIS 2019. This is often due to the critical mass of companies and the spatial significance of the proximity of firms and entrepreneurs, enabling knowledge-sharing and spill-over effects. Read the digital publication here.

EU Regional Social Progress Index 2016

This map shows the regional social progress index in the regions of the European Union (EU) in 2016. Social progress is defined in this index as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential. The EU Regional Social Progress Index is an aggregate index of 50 social and environmental indicators capturing three dimensions of social progress and its underlying components: basic human needs, foundation of well-being, and opportunity. This index is a complement to other indexes which are being developed currently to reflect similar dimensions of social situations or development. The blue tones indicate different levels of social progress index in the EU regions in 2016. The darker the tone the higher the social progress index. The grey colour indicates no data. All the Nordic regions perform well in terms of social progress. High scores are observed in all categories of the index. For some dimensions the Nordic regions are the top regions throughout Europe. At the regional scale the Nordic regions are among the top performers and only really challenged by some Dutch, UK, Austrian and German regions. The very top regions are found in Finland, northern and central Sweden, and in northern Denmark. Övre Norrland in Sweden is the top region in Europe, closely followed by the Danish capital region Hovedstaden, Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland, Midtjylland in Denmark and Åland.