Health and welfare in the Nordic Region

Kvinnelig helsemedarbeider
Part of the vision for Nordic co-operation is that the Region will be socially sustainable, which includes goals for health and welfare, an inclusive green transition and living conditions for children and young people.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy is one of ​​the most frequently used indicators of health status. The Nordic countries have relatively high life expectancy, with only Greenland below the European average. In all the Nordic countries, women live longer than men. 

Life expectancy at birth


Childcare in the Nordic Region is among the most generous in the world. This is reflected in the very high proportion of children who are in daycare. Access to high-quality, affordable childcare enables working parents, especially mothers, to pursue careers and to combine work and family life.

3–5-year-olds in daycare as % of age group

Perceived health

Generally speaking, the perceived health status of the population in the Nordic Region is relatively close to the EU average. The exception to this is Sweden, where fewer people feel limited in relation to their normal activity level due to serious health problems. At the opposite end is Iceland, which has a relatively high number of people who feel that their health is a limiting factor.

Perceived limitations due to serious health problems (16+-year-olds)

More facts about health and welfare

The Nordic statistics database includes data for:

Health including limitations on activity, absenteeism, causes of death, health costs, hospitals, health personnel, morbidity and life expectancy.

Social conditions and income includes information on childcare, income, poverty and the social safety net.


Find more information and discussion of health and social protection in the Nordic countries on Nomesco and Nososco’s information page. 


The Nordic Welfare Centre publishes analyses and information about developments in the welfare area in the Nordic Region.


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

Further information on health and welfare and Nordic co-operation is available here