Upper Norrland (city of Umea and region of Västerbotten) (SE)

Upper Norrland

Upper Norrland is a National Area of Sweden. The National Areas are a part of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) of Sweden. Övre Norrland is the northernmost region of Sweden and forms part of Sápmi (Lapland). It is the Sweden's largest region by area. It borders Norway, Finland, and the riksområde of Middle Norrland.

The most populous cities are Umeå, Luleå, Skellefteå, Piteå and Boden.

The NUTS 2 regions in Sweden do not always correspond to economic or traditional regions. The NUTS 2 region Upper Norrland (Upper Norrland) consists of two relatively independent NUTS 3 regions: Norrbotten and Västerbotten. In 2017, Upper Norrland had a population of 516,451 inhabitants (Eurostat, 2018). The region has a surface area of 164,077 km2 and covers 37.4% of Sweden. It is one of the most sparsely populated areas of the EU.

In Upper Norrland, there are two large universities, Luleå University of Technology and Umeå University. Key sectors of the region are forestry, mining, information and communications technologies (ICT) and biotechnology. The services sector is less developed.

The innovation support structure comprises a variety of organisations and measures to support the development of innovations and business ideas from the conceptual stage through to market launch. Many of the organisations cooperate closely with higher education institutions.

Upper Norrland’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been slightly fluctuating since 2011, being at €21.8bn in 2016 (Eurostat, 2018). This represents 4.7% of the national GDP and is equivalent to a GDP per capita in purchasing power standards (PPS) of 32,500, which is below the national average (36,000) and above the EU-28 average (29,200). The region is well endowed with natural resources, and the share of gross value added of agriculture, forestry and fishing (2.8% in 2015) is above the national average (1.4%) (Eurostat, 2018). A large share of the regional production is exported. In 2017 employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Upper Norrland was 2.7%, above the national average of 1.8% (Eurostat, 2018).

The average level of unemployment has decreased from 2010 (when it was at 9.5%) to 2017 (5.9%), according to the Eurostat (2018). Upper Norrland is, therefore, below the national average (6.7%) and the EU-28 average (7.6%).

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regional-innovation-monitor/base-profile/%C3%B6vre-norrland


Region Västerbotten main tasks and areas of responsibility are: Health care and dental care, Public health and social welfare, Public transport, Regional development and culture, Research, innovation and education, and Engaging in regional interests at national and international level.

Both Region Västerbotten and City of Umeå are using different thematic indicator frameworks in their analysis work, but are also looking into other integrated approaches such as SPI, for example the national BRP+ initiative under development in Sweden.

Some starting points/contributions that we have initially discussed as potentially interesting from our side

  • How can we use the SPI knowledge in for example the development of a new Regional development plan (RUS in Swedish)?
  • How can gender segregated statistics be connected to the SPI?
  • How can we develop the city-region SPI connection?
  • ”Over-achieving” SPI cities/regions, what does that imply, and how can that be used?