A closer look at a few topical policy areas

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The State of the Nordic Region is published every second year and along with the core chapters on demography, economy, the labour force and education come a series of focus chapters which vary from edition to edition. These chapters are chosen because they reflect a current global agenda or throw light on a topical policy area in the Nordic Region.

In the 2018 edition of State of the Nordic Region, the focus areas are bioeconomy, digitalisation, health and welfare along with culture and the arts.

The new bioeconomy and the whole move from a fossil-based to a biobased economy is an area with vast potential for the entire Nordic Region. Already, the bioeconomy makes up around 10% of the total Nordic economy with a large additional potential within fields such as fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and bioenergy.

When it comes to digitalisation, the Nordic countries are ahead of the game with respect to broadband coverage and the Nordic Region is one of the most digitized in the world with the most advanced digital public service.

Despite the commitment to maintain the welfare state intact remote areas experience challenges when it comes to health care and service maintenance. Digital health solutions may provide one antidote to this growing social inequality.

Finally, Nordic co-operation is, to a very large extent, based on the fact that the five countries and three self-governing areas in the Nordic Region display quite similar values and norms. Nevertheless, reviewing cultural consumption and habits it is clear that variations exist between the various parts of the Nordic Region.

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