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ECONOR III – The Economy of the North 2015

The Arctic is vulnerable to natural and global economic changes. Global warming creates opportunities for new economic activities in resource extraction and shipping, while at the same time threatening traditional livelihoods. 

The Arctic warms twice as fast as other regions, which affects the conditions for daily life, production and culture. The Arctic is also exposed to cyclical events in international markets for energy and raw materials. As a result, circumstances in the Arctic regions may shift rapidly.

The ECONOR III project updates and expands circumpolar overviews of economic growth and industrial development in Arctic regions, building on earlier phases of the ECONOR project as documented in the reports The Economy of the North and The Economy of the North 2008. Furthermore, socioeconomic indicators reflecting the living condition of the Arctic population are highlighted. The ECONOR III project will also present time series that may increase insight into how the Arctic is influenced by global trends, and will provide analysis of petroleum sector development and other mineral extraction.

Comparable data on economic development in Arctic regions are still not readily available in official statistics. It is therefore important to update and expand the supply of data on Arctic regions in a common format to facilitate comparison. The project will thus help to close a gap in information about Arctic development in terms of economic activities and livelihood.

While the Arctic has a narrow economic basis, the region is nonetheless highly influenced by the global economy, in particular by international mineral markets. Furthermore, the area has a population that relies heavily on local natural resources which are coming under pressure from global warming and local pollution. The project is being conducted to give a circumpolar overview that will enhance knowledge about the Arctic regions which share many common features, but which operate within different national states and under different resource endowments and political regimes.

The project runs from 2013 to 2015, and is being carried out in cooperation with a network of statisticians and researchers across the Arctic. The ECONOR III project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Research Council of Norway.