A geographer specialised in:
- Migration and population change
- Regional economic development
- The Arctic, the Nordic region, the EU, Russia
PhD, Geography, University of Maryland
MBA, Finance, University of Maryland
BA, Sociology, Eastern Washington University
Research Professor, Department of Geography, George Washington University (2013-2015)
Editor, Polar Geography (2011-2015)
Research Associate, Department of Geography, University of Maryland (2005-2013)
Project Officer, Innocenti Research Centre (Florence, Italy), United Nations Children’s Fund (2003-2005)
Human Development Economist, The World Bank (1992-2003)
Adjunct Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (2000-2003)
Social Science Analyst, Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census (1983-1992)
Publications by Timothy Heleniak
Linnea Löfving, Viktoria Kamuf, Timothy Heleniak, Sabine Weck, and Gustaf Norlén, “Can digitalization be a tool to overcome spatial injustice in sparsely-populated regions: The cases of Digital Västerbotten (Sweden) and Smart Country Side (Germany)”, European Planning Studies, Published online: 19 May 2021.
Heleniak, Timothy, ‘The Wary Welcome: Migration and Diversity in the Nordic Countries’, pp. 40-60, In Which Direction is Finland Evolving? The Dynamics of Mobility and Migration. X Migration Symposium 2019, Migration Institute of Finland, December 2020.
Heleniak, Timothy and Nora Sánchez Gassen, “The demise of the rural Nordic region? Analysis of regional population trends in the Nordic countries, 1990 to 2040”, Nordic Welfare Research, Vol. 1, 2020, pp. 40-57
Heleniak Timothy and Olivia Napper, “The role of statistics in relation to Arctic indigenous realities”, Routledge Handbook of Arctic Indigenous Peoples, Chapter 1, pp. edited by Timo Koivurova, Else Grete Broderstad, Dorothée Cambou, Dalee Dorough and Florian Stammler, December 4, 2020
Harbo, Lisbeth Greve, Timothy Heleniak & Åsa Ström Hildestrand, From migrants to workers: Regional and local practices on integration of labour migrants and refugees in rural areas in the Nordic countries, Nordregio Working Paper 2017:5, May 2017.
Heleniak, Timothy, “The Evolution of Russian Migration Policy in the Post-Soviet Period”, Migration in an Era of Restriction and Recession: Sending and Receiving Nations in a Changing Global Environment, Springer International Publishing, 2016.
Timothy Heleniak‘s spatial story
Back to the Future: The Nordic Museum in Seattle
I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, long before Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon were founded and before Seattle became a trendy (and expensive) place to live. Each time I return, I am amazed and somewhat appalled, by those at both ends of the income spectrum. The number of wealthy persons in Seattle is amazing but the levels of poverty and homelessness are truly sad. I left Seattle the day I finished my undergraduate degree for Washington, DC with the plan to work for the federal government for a few years before returning. It was only later that I would learn that there is “nothing as permanent as a temporary migration.”
I’m dating myself when I say that I first started working for the Soviet Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau. There, we did economic, demographic, and geographic analysis of the then-Soviet Union. It was during the 1980s that I made my first of many trips to the Russia/Soviet Union allowing me an interesting benchmark glance into the country before the rapid social, economic, and political changes of the 1990s.
I then moved to the World Bank when it found itself with a need for expertise on the Russian economy, society, and statistics who also spoke Russian. I was able to travel extensively to many parts of Russia during this period, a true treat for a geographer. This included my first travels to my favourite region of Russia – the Arctic – which had long been an interest of mine.
Upon leaving the World Bank, I worked for two year at Innocenti Research Centre United Nations Children’s Fund in Florence, Italy, doing analysis of children’s issues in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. I then returned to the U.S. in order to complete my PhD in geography. I continued work on migration and development issues in the Arctic supported by several grants and as a consultant to different international organizations.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves 11 times during their life. However, this average includes many people who make just a few moves over the course of their lives and people like me who has moved far more than 11 times. Stockholm and its lovely archipelago remind me very much of Seattle’s Puget Sound and all its gorgeous islands. Thus, in some ways, moving to Nordregio and Stockholm feel like a return home.
I have been working at Nordregio and living in Stockholm since August 2015. Since then, I have returned to my hometown of Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwest about once a year. During a recent visit, I went to the newly-renovated National Nordic Museum, which is located in Ballard, a destination of any many migrants from the Nordic countries during the early twentieth century. The museum was re-opened in 2017, by among others, Dagfinn Høybråten, the-then Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The wonderful museum contains three sections – immigration from the Nordic countries to the United States, the contribution of these migrants to the economic and cultural life of Washington State, and the Nordic model. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend a visit to Seattle and the wonderful Nordic Museum.
Related Research Projects
- Measuring Urban Sustainability in Transition (MUST): Co-Designing Future Arctic Cities in the Anthropocene
- Nunataryuk – permafrost thaw and changing arctic coast: science for socio-economic adaptation
- Nordic collaboration for integration of refugees and migrants
- RELOCAL (Resituating the local in cohesion and territorial development)
- Rural Norden in 2050: Spatial perspectives on demographic and economic futures
- Polar Peoples: Past, Present, and Future
- Adapting European Cities to Population ageing: Policy challenges and best practices
- FUME: Future Migration Scenarios for Europe
- Demographic challenges in the Nordic region from a gender perspective (DEMOS)
- Review of the cooperation between Iceland and Norway in the field of Arctic scientific research
- From Migrants to Workers
- Pandemics and Labour Migration (Delmi)
- From migrants to workers: Immigration and integration at the local level in the Nordic countries
- From migrants to workers: Regional and local practices on integration of labour migrants and refugees in rural areas in the Nordic countries
- The impact of migration on projected population trends in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden: 2015–2080
- Scenarios for 2015-2080: The impact of migration on population and ageing
- Atlas of population, society and economy in the Arctic
- Digital Health Care and Social Care – Regional development impacts in the Nordic countries
- Polar Peoples: Projections of the Arctic Population – executive summary
- Polar Peoples in the Future: Projections of the Arctic Populations
- Nordic Population in 2040 – Executive summary
- The Nordic Population 2040 – Analysis of Past and future demographic trends
- From Migrants to Workers: International migration trends in the Nordic countries
- Nordregio News 3 2016: Migration and integration
- Maps from the State of the Nordic Region at the 22nd Nordic Demographic Symposium
- Nordregio at the “Population Dynamics and Climate Implications in the Arctic” webinar
- Nordic population issues at the conference “Learning in the North”
- Nordregio at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences
- Gender equality in the Arctic – freshly published report!
- Can digitalization help overcome spatial injustice in sparsely populated regions?
- 15 March, Policy Conference on empowering the local level
- “Population on Permafrost in the Arctic” – new paper by Nordregio researchers!
- How are the Nordic regions feeling?
- 23 Nov: “Perceptions of Spatial Injustice” – Policy discussion
- 26 October: Scottish and Nordic lessons on reversing depopulation
- The Future of Polar People
- Fiscal Frameworks report and webinar now available
- Thawing permafrost threatens the Arctic populations
- Digital services bring equality to Västerbotten municipalities
- 6-8 March ReNEW conference: Sweden and Finland front-runners in naturalisation
- ‘Digital Västerbotten’, a rural success?
- Nordic Geographers Meeting June 18–21 2017: Call for papers is open!
- Dansk Byplanmøde 2016
- Nordregio presented three research projects on remote work, community resilience, and infrastructure at the Arctic circle conference
- Nordregio presented during EU seminar on the green transition
- Introducing PREMIUM_EU: A new project to prevent brain drain in Europe
- 26 October: Scottish and Nordic lessons on reversing depopulation
- Kick-off: Future Migration Scenarios for Europe
- The 2nd Nunataryuk general assembly and Early Career Researcher workshop
- The 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting
- The 21st Nordic Demographic Symposium
- Development forecasts for Russian Arctic Regions
- Arctic Circle 2018 Assembly
- The 1st Nunataryuk general assembly and a workshop
- The 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting
- FUME: Policy workshop on migration drivers and scenarios
- Population change by component 2020
- Population change by component 2010-2019
- Net internal migration rate 2020
- Net internal migration rate, 2010-2019
- Net international migration rate, 2020
- Net international migration rate, 2010–2019
- Change in life expectancy 2019–2020 by country in Europe
- Excess mortality by region
- Internal net migration as percentage of population 2010–2018
- Internal and international net migration 2010-2018
- Total population change by main component 2010-2018
- General fertility rate 2016-2018 average
- Largest minority group by municipality 2018