Finland has developed to one of the wealthiest and most generous welfare states in the world and with low levels of income inequality and high social mobility. A deeper look reveals that not everyone in Finland has been a part of the Finnish growth story. Growth, employment and wealth creation are restricted to certain urban areas, predominately rural areas have fallen behind. The Finnish disparity report shows that the country has distinct geographical inequalities in terms of growth, employment chances and wealth creation.
Uneven growth fueled by high rates of urbanization and rural depopulation has been further exasperated by the country's demographic change and stagnating unemployment rates have increased regional inequalities and put increasing pressure on municipalities to provide services of high quality for their inhabitants. This calls for policy reforms not only on the national level, but also to EU policies. A new approach for regional development is needed.