Monitoring and forecasting regional development

In the monitoring of regional development extensive use is made of both national and international statistics and research. Regional research and foresight information is also produced and extensively used in regional councils and ELY Centres.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for coordinating the regional foresight work and for incorporating it into national foresight work. Foresight work means looking into the future and focusing on education and competence, as well as increasingly on anticipating structural change.

The ministry publishes a monitoring report on regional development each spring. The report discusses population and employment trends and turnover trends in individual business sectors.

Statistical information on regional development

The labour market situation and business trends in individual regions are the main statistical variables monitored in the short term. Regional economic trends, competitiveness and population trends are the main variables monitored in the long term.

Statistical information on regional development has been entered into the Sector Online database maintained by MEAE Business Sector Services. The database contains both indicators and time series. At regional level, the information is provided by region and (for some of the activities) by sub-region.

Urban-rural classification based on geographical information

Taking into account the differences between regions is a challenge to regional development and planning. As municipalities become larger, municipality-based classifications are increasingly unsuitable for recognising regional differences. An urban-rural regional classification based on geographical information recognises different types of urban and rural areas and the zones between them more accurately than administrative areas.

The classification can be viewed and downloaded in the geographical information service of the Finnish Environment Institute.

Further information: hanna-maria.urjankangas(at)