Regional Development Guidelines 2040

Cover page of publication: Regional Development Guidelines 2040. Regional development affects the vitality of regions in the long term. Anticipation is needed to plan long-term work. The Regional Development Guidelines 2040 looks at the key issues of regional development in the future.

The guidelines were prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in broad-based cooperation between regions, ministries, municipalities and other stakeholders in regional development in 2022.

The Regional Development Guidelines 2040 highlights three important themes, which will affect all regional development in the long term and apply to all regions: 

  1. Regional and demographic trends will shake the foundations of regional development.
  2. Transition to sustainable business and industry will be a core task of regional development.
  3. The success of Finnish regions will be based on high-quality expertise and education.

For the vitality of regions and municipalities, tackling these themes will be of utmost importance in the coming years. In all of these themes, the cross-cutting perspectives will be climate change and loss of biodiversity, flexibility to change, digitalisation, networks and security.

Regional and demographic trends affect all activities of regions and municipalities

In the long term, the changes in regional and demographic structure will shake the foundations of regional development and impact all activities in regions and municipalities. Although the trend has been visible for a long time, regional development measures to address it have been insufficient. By 2040, the demographic structures of regions will continue to diverge, thereby contributing to regional differentiation. In addition to changes in population, including the ageing population, multiculturalism will become increasingly important in regional development.

The transition towards sustainable business and industry will be a core task of regional development, and achieving this will form the basis for the success and vitality of the regions. 

Regional success is based on expertise and leadership in green transition

The Regional Development Guidelines 2040 describes the ideal outcomes that regional development should aim at in order to improve the vitality of Finnish regions. 

In the desired state, Finnish regions will be leaders in the green transition and they have adapted to population growth sustainably. Regional business and industry has been built in a way that supports sustainable development. In addition, the regions are internationally attractive and participate in international networks of experts. The high quality of education and level of competence will be the key assets for Finland and the regions in the years leading to 2040. 

The decisions and close cooperation of different bodies in society to promote these objectives in the coming years will be necessary to achieve them.

Publication: Aluekehittämisen suuntaviivat 2040 (published only in Finnish)

For more information: 
Tapani Mattila,
Head of Unit, +358 295 060 066, tapani.mattila(a)
Mikko Härkönen, Ministerial Adviser, +358 295 047 889, mikko.harkonen(a)
Petra Stenfors, Senior Specialist, +358 295 047 282, petra.stenfors(a)