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Key economic indicators of the Nordic countries - Statistics & Facts

The Nordic economies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are among the world’s wealthiest. Their inhabitants enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the world due to relatively small wage gaps, high employment, and high taxation combined with accessible education and social security. From a macroregional perspective, the Nordic countries form a coherent region, performing well above EU and OECD averages. However, the are some internal differences: Sweden has the highest gross domestic product (GDP), but Norway has the highest GDP per capita. All five Nordic countries are among the 20 countries in the world with the highest GDP per capita.

The impact of COVID-19

Despite being among the world’s wealthiest countries, economic growth has been sluggish following the economic crisis in 2008. Especially Iceland's economy was hit hard by this crisis. Furthermore, the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant negative impact on the Nordic economies. All five faced recessions due to the pandemic but are forecast to increase again in the years to come. While imports and exports are expected to recover relatively fast, unemployment rates were forecast to increase in some countries in 2021 before decreasing again in 2022. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the unemployment rates remain low in the Nordic countries. The employment to population ratio is high among both men and women, despite some variations between the countries. Iceland has the highest ratio, whereas Finland has the lowest.

Trade and account balance

Foreign trade plays an important part in the economy of the five Nordic countries. Unsurprisingly, they constitute important trading partners for one another. Meanwhile, Germany remains an important trading partner for all five countries. Denmark, Sweden, and Finland are all members of the EU, whereas Norway and Iceland only are members of the European Economic Area (EEA). Sweden and Denmark have the highest net trade. The former both has the highest values of imports and exports of goods, whereas these play the most important role for the latter's GDP. Furthermore, all five countries except Finland had a positive account balance in 2021, and Iceland has the highest debt rate. Finally, inflation rates increased in all the Nordic countries in 2021 following higher electricity prices and rising delivery and transportation costs.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 25 most important statistics relating to "Key economic indicators of the Nordic countries".


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