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Access to fixed broadband at minimum download speed 100 Mpbs

The map shows the proportion of households that had access to fixed-line broadband with download speeds >100 Mbps (superfast broadband) at the municipal level, with darker colours indicating higher coverage. Overall, Denmark has the highest levels of connectivity, with 92% of municipalities providing superfast broadband to at least 85% of households. In over half (59%) of all Danish municipalities, almost all (>95%) of households have access to this connection speed. The lowest levels of connectivity are found in Finland. This is particularly evident in rural municipalities where, on average, less than half of households (48%) have access to superfast broadband. Connectivity levels are also rather low in some parts of Iceland, for example, the Westfjords and several municipalities in the east.  Households in urban municipalities are still more likely to have access to superfast broadband than households in rural or intermediate municipalities, but the gap appears to be closing in most. This is most evident in Norway, where the average household coverage for rural municipalities increased by 31% between 2018 and 2020. By comparison, average household coverage for urban municipalities in Norway increased by only 0.7%. In the archipelago (Åland Islands, Stockholm and Helsinki), general broadband connectivity is good; however, some islands with many second homes still have poor coverage. 

Help Santa to work remotely – where to locate in 2021?

Help Santa! To reduce his transit times and emissions – reindeers burn a lot of (green) fuel – and find an optimal remote workplace from where to deliver gifts to all the children in the Nordic Region! Santa has heard about this new trend “multilocational lifestyle” and he would like to know if this would suit him as well. But where to move? Santa’s little researchers have worked hard this year and done some mapping for him – and discovered places you have never even heard of! If Santa is to serve all children (0-14 years old) throughout the Nordic Region from a single address, the solution lies in Storfors Municipality. WHERE? – you might think. It is a real place, in Central-Southern Sweden. Here Santa has an average distance of 425 km distance to each child from his own backyard. This still sounds like awfully many kilometers. Could he be even more multilocal – with a home in each of the Nordic countries? This would help him to reduce his overall commuting to work significantly. Let’s try it! If he serves all 4.974 children in Åland from a residence (like a luxury hotel with all-inclusive and pets allowed) in Jomala Municipality, he will only have to travel 11 km to work on average. In Greenland, the distances are somewhat larger, and Santa, even with the most optimal location from a residence (a cabin) in Qeqqata Municipality would have to travel 288 km to each of the 11,748 children in the country. Can you guess what the other optimal locations would be in the Nordics? I bet you can’t so I will tell you: it’s the municipalities of Hallsberg in Sweden, Jämsä in Finland, Etnedal in Norway, Kalundborg in Denmark, Kjósarhreppur in Iceland and Tórshavn in Faroe Islands. Well, Santa…

Algae production in 2019

This map shows location of algae production by production method in the Nordic Arctic and Baltic Sea Region in 2019 Algae and seaweeds are gaining attention as useful inputs for industries as diverse as energy and human food production. Aquatic vegetation – both in the seas and in freshwater – can grow at several times the pace of terrestrial plants, and the high natural oil content of some algae makes them ideal for producing a variety of products, from cosmetic oils to biofuels. At the same time, algae farming has added value in potential synergies with farming on land, as algae farms utilise nutrient run-off and reduce eutrophication. In addition, aquatic vegetation is a highly versatile feedstock. Algae and seaweed thrive in challenging and varied conditions and can be transformed into products ranging from fuel, feeds, fertiliser, and chemicals, to third-generation sugar and biomass. These benefits are the basis for seaweed and algae emerging as one of the most important bioeconomy trends in the Nordic Arctic and Baltic Sea region. The production of algae for food and industrial uses has hence significant potential, particularly in terms of environmental impact, but it is still at an early stage. The production of algae (both micro- and macroalgae) can take numerous forms, as shown by this map. At least nine different production methods were identified in the region covered in this analysis. A total of 41 production sites were operating in Denmark, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Germany, and Sweden. Germany has by far the most sites for microalgae production, whereas Denmark and Norway have the most macroalgae sites.

Change in overnight stay 2009-2019

The indicator measures the total overnight stays by guests in all types of accommodation, i.e., hotels and holiday resorts, camping sites, youth hostels, marinas, and holiday cottages. The map shows the change in percent from 2009 and 2019 (Faroe Island: 2013-2019 due to limited data availability). The orange colour indicates a shrink, while bluish colours indicate an increase. Bluer the colour is, larger is the increase. The shaded colour in yellow highlights the regions where international guests contributed to more than half of the total overnight stays in 2019. Most Nordic regions and territories have experienced an increase in the number of overnight stays during the last decade. The most dramatic increase can be observed in Iceland, with 5 of its 8 regions witnessing an increase in overnight stays over 100% between 2009-2019. The overnight stays in Suðurnes have increased by 451% during 2009-2019, being the largest increase in the Nordic Region. It’s also worth noting that the nearly all the regions and territories with more international guests have an increase in the total number of overnight stays, indicating that international tourism is playing a more important role in the Nordic tourism industry. The only exception is Åland, whose overnight stays dropped by 5% during 2009-2019. The traditional skiing destinations in Norway and Sweden have also witnessed a decrease in their total overnight stays, i.e., Hedmark, Oppland and Dalarna. Hedmark, among all the Nordic regions and territories, experienced the largest decline of overnight stays of 15% between 2009-2019. The number of overnight stays in some regions in eastern and central Finland also decreased from 2009 to 2019, e.g., Central Ostrobothnia and Satakunta, with domestic guests as the main tourists.

How to prepare for Home Alone Christmas 2020?

The conditions for a Home Alone Christmas vary greatly across the Nordic Region. The combination of the selected two accessibility indicators is visualised on Nordregio’s Christmas Map 2020. It classifies the Nordic municipalities into nine categories, based on: – The share of households with fixed broadband of at least 30mbps is used to measure the quality and distribution of internet connection. The higher the percentage, the bigger chance you will have an uninterrupted online celebration! – The average distance to grocery stores is used to estimate the time required to get your Christmas food: the closer to a grocery store, the more spontaneous you can be. On one side of the spectrum are about a fourth of the municipalities having a high share of households (>75%) with a decent broadband connection and a short average distance to the closest grocery store (<2,5 km). This enhances last-minute Christmas preparation and high-quality online celebrations. These municipalities are colored in dark purple on the map and are mostly, but not exclusively, located in urban areas in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. On the other side of the spectrum, about 10% of Nordic municipalities have rather weak fixed broadband coverage (<50%) and relatively long travel distances to the closest grocery store (> 5km), requiring more planning for celebrating Christmas. These municipalities are colored in light purple on the map and are mostly found in sparsely population municipalities in Finland and mountainous municipalities in Norway.

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.

Mobility changes due to COVID-19

This map shows the difference in mobility to workplaces between a weekday (April 23rd, 2020) and the corresponding weekday during the period January 7th to February 6th, 2020 (in percent). The data highlights the percent change in visits to workplaces within each administrative region in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Data is not available for the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Åland. Read more about the data here. The average value of the Nordic regions included in the map is a reduction by 34% of the number of visits to workplaces on April 23rd (in comparison to a baseline). This average value hides large variations within the Nordic Region with the most modest change occurring in Gotland (-12%) and the most severe change in Oslo (-57%). More generally, variations can be identified both between and within countries. The variations between countries reveal differences in recommendations and restrictions from published by the different national governments. Details for each country have been gathered by Info Norden and can be found here. As a result, the change in visits to workplaces decreased by 26% in Sweden, 39% in Denmark, 41% in Norway and 47% in Finland. The variations within countries also reveal differences in government´s decisions (e.g. lockdown of the Helsinki-Uusimaa region reducing the mobility to workplaces by 53%), but not only. There are indeed a number of local characteristics of the labour markets that contribute at explaining that the largest changes in mobility to workplaces are found in capital city regions. These local characteristics are a greater dependency on public transport for commuters, who are adviced to avoid using such means of transportation under the COVID-19 context; and having a higher share of jobs that can be done by teleworking, among others.