In December, the European Commission published the European Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) for 2020. It shows that Upper Norrland have the highest level of social progress in the entire EU, followed by Helsinki-Uusimma in Finland and Central Norrland in Sweden. With high scores in fulfilling basic human needs and a high environmental quality, northern Sweden offers an attractive life environment.
The European Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) is an instrument that measures societal development and quality of life in European regions at a NUTS2 level (macro-regions). The index is a complement to economic development, also known as gross domestic product (GDP), and aims to help policymakers develop policies that strengthen fundamental human needs and social issues throughout the Union. The index is based on twelve components and about fifty indicators that measure social development, mainly from the EU statistical office, Eurostat. The indicators are measured within the framework of three pillars: Basic human needs, Foundations of wellbeing and Opportunity. Some examples are personal rights, choice and freedom, as well as the right to advanced education and lifelong learning.
Upper Norrland top score, but still great variation between the EU-regions
In the surveys from 2016, upper Norrland scored highest in meeting the basic human needs, which is why the region had the highest level of social development among EU member states and regions. The results from 2020 shows that upper Norrland continues to have the highest level of social development. On a scale of 1–100, the region reached an average of 85.11. According to the index, upper Norrland performed best in indicators like “Nutrition and medical care”, "water and sanitation", “Environmental quality” and "Access to basic knowledge".
Read more about the EU-SPI here.
See the EU member states and regions results in EU-SPI from 2020 here.