Labor Party veteran fears that Nord-Varanger will die out and that Finnmark will face a population crisis

Karl Eirik Schjøtt-PedersenPhoto: Vidar Ruud / NTB
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Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen told the newspaper VG that he fears East Finnmark may become completely empty, with no people, in the next 80 years.

“If nothing radical is done, then Nord-Varanger will die out, and Finnmark will become empty, with no people, with the exception of perhaps a few centers,” Labor Party (AP) veteran and former Minister of Finance Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen told VG.

Today, he is a partner at Menon Economics, which works for the Varanger municipalities of Vardø, Vadsø, Berlevåg, Nesseby, and Båtsfjord.

Forecasts

According to forecasts, the population in these municipalities will fall from about 12,000 to only 1,300 in 80 years.

He says the forecasts are uncertain but emphasizes that they are based on figures from Statistics Norway (SSB). The population will remain stable until 2050, but people are getting older. Then, fewer children will be born, and the population will rapidly decline unless more people move in.

“Shocked”

“I knew that there were population challenges in Finnmark. But that it was so dramatic… It shocked me. The only way to solve this is for more people to move to these areas,” he noted.

To achieve this, he recommends favorable student loans extra child benefits for Finnmark and North Troms. 

In addition, he wants to encourage increased migration to these areas from other parts of Europe.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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