The Nordic population enjoys an abundance of good things: dynamic capital cities, fertile land, affluence, access to wild and beautiful nature, and plenty of space. Indeed, plenty of people who would love to move to one of the Nordic countries.
In some of the countries, the increasing pace of urbanisation, combined with a movement away from the peripheral areas, represents a challenge to the authorities.
Forecasts predict a population increase of three million in the next 40 years. District policies are now actively trying to make it more attractive to live in the more sparsely populated areas of Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden.
There are currently 25.1 million inhabitants (2012 figures) in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the three autonomous territories (the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland).
The Nordic Region is a sparsely populated part of the world. The only exception is Denmark, which has 130.1 people per km2. Sweden, Norway and Finland each have 16–23 people per km2 and Iceland has 3.5, while there are only 0.14 Greenlanders per km2 in the ice-free parts of the country.
The population of the Region has increased by approximately 2.6 million since 1990. The most rapid growth has been in Iceland, with 26%, followed by Norway and Åland, with 17%.
The increase has been caused by a greater number of births than deaths and greater immigration than emigration. In 2006, net immigration was higher than the birth rate in every Nordic country except Finland.
The populations in and around Nordic capital cities have increased more rapidly than national figures.
The Øresund Region, which has Copenhagen and Malmö at its core, is the largest urban conurbation in the Region, with 2.3 million inhabitants.
In national terms, Stockholm is the largest city with 1.9 million people, followed by Copenhagen with 1.6 million. Oslo and Helsinki both have populations of around 1 million.
With 200,000 people, Reykjavik has enjoyed the most rapid growth of all the capitals - no less than 30% since 1990. The Faroese capital Tórshavn is also growing rapidly.
The ratio of old to young people in the Nordic Region is increasing. In 2007, the number of people over the age of 80 was highest in Sweden, at 450,000 (5% of the population.
Forecasts suggest that no fewer than 8% of the Swedish population will be 80 or older in the year 2040.
This increase in the ratio of old to young is due to people living longer and a fall in birth rates - although the Nordic countries still enjoy high rates compared to almost every other country in Europe.
Women in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Greenland have the right to abortion.
In the Faroe Islands, Åland, Iceland and Finland legislation requires specific medical and/or social criteria for abortion, so the numbers are relatively low.
In the Faroe Islands there are only four abortions per 100 births, while in Finland and Iceland, the number of abortions is about 20% of births.
Greenland has the highest rate in the Region, with an equal number of abortions and births.
in Sweden, the number of abortions is one third of births, while it is a quarter in Denmark and Norway.
Much of the migration in the Region takes place between the Nordic countries. A free labour market, closely related languages and favourable rules for studying elsewhere in the Region make it easy for Nordic citizens to move between the countries.
Figures for immigration to the Region include citizens returning to their home country, as well as citizens of foreign countries who have been granted residence permits.
Sweden has the highest proportion of immigrants, with 13% of the population having been born in another country.
In Denmark and Norway, the percentage is around 8%, in Finland 4% and in Iceland 10%.
The number of foreign citizens has increased throughout the Region, as a result of displacement caused, for example, by political upheavals and wars.
The largest single group of foreign citizens comes from Iraq (64,000), half of whom live in Sweden.
In 2007, more than 46,000 Polish citizens lived in the Region, as well as 35,000 from the Baltic states.
The vast majority of the 45,000 or so Turkish citizens live in Denmark.
Of the 44,000 Russian citizens in the Region, more than half live in Finland, with most of the rest living in Norway and Sweden.
One possible indication of the number of foreigners who wish to settle in the Nordic Region is to base the figures on asylum seekers.
Asylum seekers are people who have come to the Nordic countries but not been granted residence permits so are not included in the general population statistics.
In the period 1990- 2000, the number of asylum seekers per annum increased in every country except Sweden, which experienced a major influx in 1990-1992. The number of asylum seekers in Denmark fell by 85-90% in the years 2000-2006.
In 2006, 33,000 people sought asylum in the Region, 80% of them in Sweden and Norway.
More than 5,000 were from Africa; 4,000 were from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria; and 10,300 came from Iraq alone, most of them to Sweden.
The current population of 24.9 million citizens is expected to grow to 27.8 million in 2050. This prognosis is based on a series of expectations about fertility, death rates, and emigration and immigration in the individual countries.
The safest prognosis is that based on ageing, because the figures are based on people already born.
The population in the western part of the Nordic Region is the youngest, and is growing fastest.
The most recent prognosis for population growth shows that numbers in Norway and Iceland will grow by 15% by 2030, while Denmark and Finland can only expect an increase of 5-8%. There will be approximately 10% more Swedes in 2030.
The rate of population growth in the Nordic countries is expected to slow down after 2030.
All over the world, politicians and researchers are concerned about the "demographic time bomb". But what exactly does that mean?
To put it simply, it means that we have a certain number of people who work and pay taxes and duties, and are able to support a certain number of children, young people, the sick and the old.
If there is a major imbalance between those who provide and those who have to be provided for, it becomes a cause for concern: will we be able to retain the welfare state in its current form?
The demographic time bomb is expected to tick progressively louder in all the Nordic countries, but it will still be significantly quieter than in almost all other European countries because of the relatively high birth rates.
Over the next 25 years, the burden will be felt most in Finland and Åland.
At present, the number of citizens in Finland aged 65 and over corresponds to 25% of the population of working age. By 2030, however, this figure will have doubled.
Sweden and Denmark can expect an increase to around 40% and Norway to 35%, while Iceland looks as if it will be able to retain its position is a young country with a low proportion of elderly citizens.