OECD Territorial Reviews: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

In series:OECD Territorial Reviewsview more titles

Published on March 13, 2017

The northern sparsely populated areas (NSPA) of Finland, Norway and Sweden are becoming increasingly important to the geopolitical and economic interests of these countries and the European Union. These regions have unique geographical characteristics - low population density and a harsh climate - and face specific challenges due to an ageing population, long distances from markets, and high-cost land transport. However, high productivity growth is possible in low-density regions. This report sets out policy recommendations at cross-border, national and regional scales to enhance prosperity and well-being across the NSPA. This includes closer co-operation with national governments to address shared challenges and opportunities such as improving east-west transport connections and reducing occupational and skills barriers to labour mobility, and addressing barriers to business growth such as access to finance.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
Assessment and Recommendations
Northern Sparsely Populated Areas in Finland, Norway and Sweden4 chapters available
Addressing the shared policy challenges of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
Finland's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
Norway's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
Sweden's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
Country Notes - Online Only14 chapters available
Central Ostrobothnia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Kainuu, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Lapland, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
North Karelia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Pohjois-Savo, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
South Savo, Finland (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Finnmark, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Nordland, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Troms, Norway (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Norrbotten, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Västerbotten, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
Västernorrland, Sweden (Northern Sparsely Populated Area)
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The Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) was established as collaborative network in 2004 to raise awareness of the common issues and circumstances facing these regions within EU institutions, to influence EU policy and to provide a platform for best practice. The NSPA includes:


Publication launch

Along with the presentation of the review will be keynotes by: 

followed by a panel discussion with Q&A.  Download the agenda (PDF)


presentation slides

Northern Sparsely Populated Areas - Launch of OECD report, Brussels, 13 March 2017 

Policy highlights

Download the policy highlights (PDF)


Northern Sparsely Populated Areas - OECD Report from OECD Governance