Change in working age population 2019-2040

This map shows the projected working age population change at municipal level during the period 2019-2040

While the total population of the Nordic Region is projected to grow by 8% to 29.5 million by 2040, the growth of the working-age population (15–64 years) is expected to be more modest at 1.5%. The working-age population also referred to as the potential labour supply, refers to all people in the population aged 15–64 years. It is a potential supply because it includes all those who fit the age requirement, despite some not actually being available for the labour market (e.g. full-time students, those with long-term illnesses or disabilities that affect their ability to work). The potential labour supply at the local level is constantly shifting due to trends such as ageing, migration and urbanisation.

The red areas on the map indicate a projected working-age population decline and blue areas an increase. The yellow areas indicate a stable development.

On a national level Greenland (-16.2%), the Faroe Islands (-6.6%), Finland (-3%) and Denmark (-2%) are projected to see a decrease in the working-age population, while increases are projected in Sweden (4%), Norway (4.6%), Åland (9.1%) and Iceland (10.9%). It is worth noting that, even in the parts of the Nordic Region where the working-age population is expected to shrink, the projections are less severe than the EU28 average (-6.5%). Greenland and Faroe Islands are the only exceptions.

At the municipal level, the variation is even more striking with the majority (72%) of Nordic municipalities projected to experience a decrease in the size of the working-age population. As Figure 6.2 shows, this trend is most pronounced in Finland (decline of the working-age population in 90% of the municipalities) and Denmark (81%) and less apparent in Sweden (67%), Iceland (64%) and Norway (61%). Most of the municipalities where a decrease in the working-age population is projected are located in rural areas, with the largest declines evident in Salo, Imatra, Savonlinna and Kouvola in Finland and some smaller municipalities in mainly Norway, Finland and Iceland. Conversely, many urban areas are expected to see increases in the working-age population, for example, all of the capital regions, Gothenburg and Umeå (Sweden); Aarhus and Ålborg (Denmark); and Turku, Oulu and Tampere (Finland). Interestingly, the working-age population is anticipated to grow in most municipalities in Skåne, regardless of municipality type, as well as along the west coast of Sweden. In Norway, the working-age population is predicted to grow in most municipalities along the coast, especially in the south.

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