The economy in the Nordic Region

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The Nordic model is characterised by stable inflation and exchange rates, a large public sector, many welfare benefits and a social safety net that embraces everybody. Taxes are among the highest in the world.

Gross domestic product

The Nordic countries are among the richest in the world measured in per capita GDP – significantly above the EU average. Norway is top of the Nordic ranking.

Per capita GDP: PPS Euro: 2021

Public finances

The public finances is a collective term for the public sector’s income and expenditure. If expenses exceed income, there is a deficit. Most Nordic countries had deficits in their public finances in the pandemic year 2021.

Surplus/deficit as % of GDP: 2021


Most of the Nordic countries are at the top of international rankings for tax levels, which is also due to relatively large public sectors. However, care must be taken when comparing national tax levels because the way countries organise tax and income transfer systems can vary considerably.

Tax level: 2021

More facts about the Nordic economy

The Nordic Statistics database for the economy includes key economic data, foreign direct investment and the national accounts. The data for public income and spending includes the balance of payments surpluses, debt, taxes, public expenditure and development aid.

State of the Nordic Region contains analyses, data and statistics on business in the Nordic countries presented from a regional angle. 

Further information on the economy and Nordic co-operation is available here