OECD Territorial Reviews: Gotland, Sweden

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Gotland, Sweden

Gotland is Sweden’s largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. While Sweden has numerous Islands, Gotland’s development trajectory is unique in Sweden. It is the smallest region in the country in population size and economic base, and it is located the furthest from the mainland (90 km). As an island economy, it must overcome a number of development challenges including its small critical mass, remoteness to larger markets, vulnerability to climate change and limited administrative capacity. Nonetheless, it has a number of important assets, such as being an attractive destination, having a high potential for bio- and circular economy, a university providing research and education, very good broadband connectivity, and a strong local identity and vibrant civil society. This Territorial Review benchmark’s Gotland’s economic performance against comparable OECD regions to identify areas of untapped potential and develops recommendations in three main areas to help improve the quality of life for residents and support more efficient use of public resources. The first focuses on improving infrastructure planning, investments and delivery. The second on supporting the business environment and innovation eco-system and the third, on improving administrative and financing capacity to deliver quality services throughout the territory.


Socio-economic characteristics and trends

This chapter offers a comprehensive diagnosis of the region of Gotland, Sweden. The chapter compares Gotland’s development against national trends and a benchmark of other OECD islands and remote regions at Territorial Level 3 (TL3). It starts by presenting Gotland, its population and demographic trends, spatial and administrative structure, including some characteristics and challenges related to island economies. The chapter then describes Gotland’s economy and labour market patterns. The final section examines key factors for regional development and the well-being of its citizens, such as globalisation, accessibility, public services and the shift to a zero-carbon economy.


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