OECD Territorial Reviews: Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

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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.


Norway's Northern Sparsely Populated Areas

The purpose of this chapter is to provide recommendations about how the national government can work better with the country’s northern regions to improve growth, employment and service delivery outcomes. It begins with an overview of the growth opportunities and challenges facing these regions and the policy priorities for addressing them. The second part of the chapter discusses how well national policy settings related to regional development are adapted to the needs and circumstances of northern Norway. The third part of the chapter discusses how to improve governance arrangements for regional development.


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