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 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (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 activities focus on anticipating trends in education, competence and structural change.

Situation picture for regional development

A situation picture for regional development has been created for use in regional development negotiations between the State and counties. It consists of quantitative indicators and a qualitative expert evaluation.

The situation picture covers the following areas: population, public/local government finances, regional economy, employment, businesses, competence, health and wellbeing, housing, transport, and sustainable development of the environment.

Statistical information on regional development

The labour market situation and business trends in individual counties 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 are collected from a number of different sources, the most important being the StatFin online service (free-of-charge) provided by Statistics Finland and the Sector Online service (subject to a charge) maintained by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. At regional level, the information is provided by county 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 environmental and geographical information service of the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE.

Further information: satu.tolonen(at)