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Trends and challenges

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This chapter presents an overview of recent demographic, social and economic trends in the four counties of SmÃ¥land‐Blekinge, setting them in both Swedish and international contexts. It identifies a series of policy challenges for the region that are addressed in the chapters to follow. These include the need to facilitate a shift from the region's historic specialisation in medium‐low and low technology manufacturing towards more knowledge‐intensive activities. This will require addressing the supply of human capital, improving connectivity and enhancing the attractiveness of the region. In addition, demographic trends raise increasing challenges for public service delivery, particularly in sparsely populated municipalities that are experiencing both population decline and accelerated population ageing. This reinforces the need to expand and deepen the range of instruments and institutions for inter‐municipal co‐operation.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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