Regional Profiles 2016

MDI published the Regional Profiles 2016 last August. This heavyweight study (200 pages, weighting about 2 pounds) includes information about regional development trends from mid-1990s to 2016. The Regional Profiles consists of an analysis of national development according to different regional types, as well as the regional and sub-regional statistical package.

Mainland Finland consists of 18 regions and 67 sub-regions. We calculated regional development indicators and formulated grades for the sub-regions (see Appendix tables). Furthermore, we ranked the regional development winners and losers from 2008 to 2016. The grade or score consists of three variables: structural variables (which weight 70 % of total score), dynamic development 2008-2013 (weight 10 %) and quick variables 2014-2016 (weight 20 %).

In the last two decades the regional development logic in Finland has changed: in 1990s the five biggest urban regions were the five “winners” of regional development. Now in Finland there are about dozen winners, as the largest regional engines have joined the podium of good development figures. Today, the Greater Helsinki region, and a wide range of other urban regions with a university constitute the engines of development – the best figures were from the urban regions of Vaasa and Helsinki. Compared to the recent years, the urban regions of Turku, Oulu and Jyväskylä have improved their positions. In the Eastern Finland, Kuopio has fared best. But on the contrary – and somewhat surprisingly, a number of structurally strong urban areas gained only mediocre figures for development in the past few years. From the national point of view, it is good that each major area (i.e. Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Finland) has at least one strong and a few other urban regions that are developing well.

On the other hand, in the rural areas the more densely populated and tourism-oriented regions have highest scores. However, the best marks are in Ylivieska sub-region, where the basis of economy is in strong food production and industry. The weakest scores – not surprisingly – are in sparsely populated areas with poor accessibility, particularly in Eastern and Central Finland. In the rural areas the correlation the structural and dynamic variables is stronger than in urban regions. This means that in the rural regions the structurally strong regions have fared fairly well also in dynamic variables.

The Regional Profiles 2016 information is freely available for experts, decision makers and media in both regional and national level. In Finland, the Regional Profiles 2016 got great media attention in national media (including an editorial in the main newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat) and in regional printed and social media in August 2016.

For more information: Design Director Janne Antikainen +358 40 764 1829,

Have a look at the whole article + tables here: Regional profiles, news

Regional Profiles publication available in Finnish here:

Reading Instructions in English here: Regional Profiles, reading instructions