Introducing the 18th edition of State of the Nordic Region.
State of the Nordic Region 2022 has its point of departure in the Covid-19 pandemic and examines how it has affected demography, labour market and economy in the Nordic countries, regions and municipalities. State of the Nordic Region is published every two years and provides a comprehensive account of regional development trends in the Nordic countries based on the latest statistical data.
The State of the Nordic Region 2022 presents a collection of maps, figures and analysis within three core areas: demography, labour market, and economy.
An evaluation of excess deaths reveals that Covid-19 greatly affected mortality in much of the Nordic Region in 2020, with Sweden showing the highest rates. However, compared to the rest of Europe, life expectancy still increased in most of the Nordic Region during 2020 (excluding Sweden). The Nordic Region also stands out in a European context with increasing numbers of births and natural population growth even during the pandemic; however, such growth was small, and immigration continues to be the main source of population increase.
The pandemic has undoubtedly altered the Nordic labour market. Throughout Europe, unemployment rates increased during this season, though these effects were less pronounced in the Nordic Region. Leaders in the Nordic countries did not make a uniform response to the pandemic, leading to general discordance and complications for labour market mobility in cross-border regions. While distancing restrictions encouraged knowledge-based employees to work from home, workers such as those in service-sector jobs were most affected by temporary or permanent layoffs.
The Nordic Region experienced initial economic shocks from the pandemic but is recovering relatively well among European countries. Some initial decrease in consumption has had encouraging effects on GHG emissions, and electric vehicle purchases are growing. While housing prices increase in all countries, social concerns emerge as young people experience difficulties with entering the housing market. Meanwhile, the tourism sector has been hard hit by the decrease in international visitors, especially for those countries reliant on tourism industry contributions to their total GDP.
The report’s concluding chapter—Covid-19: From crisis to opportunity for the Nordic Region— summarises strengths and opportunities of the pandemic years to date as well as identifying opportunities for policymakers to retain momentum and address concerns for Nordic co-operation towards Vision 2030.