Will we change our minds when the economy is changing?

The Nordics is not only a place. It’s a set of values we share. Belief in the future, sustainability and personal ambition. These values make the Nordic pulse. It’s what makes this region successful and creates value for our people. That’s why we’re launching the Nordic Pulse. A way to take the pulse of how well the society is in synch with these values during times of economic change. The Nordic Pulse will be updated twice per year. 

The survey facts

The survey facts

During the spring 2024: 

We used Verian (Sifo/Kantar) this time to ask approx. 4000 respondents from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Approx 1000 respondents per country, aged 18-80 and answered during April and May.

During the fall:

We used 1001 answers to perform a multiple linear regression in SPSS. The fieldwork was conducted by Syno International during the period of September 7 - September 13, 2023. The data collected via the Syno platform used online panels from the Syno marketplace and the Cint marketplace for online panels. The survey was representative on age, region, and gender in each country. The age group was 18-80 years old. A variety of quality controls were applied to ensure the data delivered consisted of engaged respondents and that each panel member could only respond to the survey once.

During the spring 2023: 

The survey was conducted by the research agency Syno International, as an online research project using panels of opted-in participants that have agreed to be contacted to share their opinion. The participating respondents are selected to match the national distribution regarding age, gender, and region to provide a balanced representation of the views of the total population. 1000 respondents in each Nordic country, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark have answered the survey as of 13 February 2023, which is a total of 4000 respondents.

The survey continues to accumulate answers weekly in order to take the "pulse" on the Nordic society during economic fluctuations. The initiative, named the “Nordic Pulse”, measures four distinct aspects - sustainability, personal ambition, belief in the future, and financial literacy - to provide a comprehensive picture of Nordic society's economic well-being. 

The Nordic Pulse measures four distinct areas

Sustainable choices

The importance of sustainability and the ability to make responsible, environmentally and socially conscious decisions.

Personal ambition

The ability to pursue individual aspirations and goals.

Belief in the future

The level of confidence in one’s future economic prospects.

Financial literacy

The ability to understand and feel in control of one's personal economy, regardless of gender, age or other such differences. In 2024 we added a couple of questions on fraud. Results will be reported in different articles. 

Although not exclusive to the Nordics, these four areas tap into values associated with the region and important for its growth and economic success. In the recent Sustainable Development Report for 2022, the four Nordic countries were top-ranked among countries most rapidly transforming into sustainable and equal societies. In the World Value Survey, the Nordic countries are top-ranked on self-expression, where environmental protection and gender equality are foundations.

These values are also aligned with Nordea’s purpose of enabling dreams and aspirations for a greater good.


Digging into the areas

We value sustainability in the Nordics

The Nordic countries, known for their high standard of living and well-functioning economies, have a strong tradition of sustainable development. Sustainability is not only important from an ethical and social perspective but also an economic one. It is a major economic growth area and business opportunity, with new industries emerging. The Nordic region is home to innovative companies and a highly skilled workforce that is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for sustainable products and services. By embracing sustainability, the region can continue to drive economic growth and competitiveness while also addressing environmental and social challenges.

How we define sustainability: 

By “sustainability,” we refer to both environmental and social responsibility. We measure whether respondents consider sustainability to be an important issue and their perceived ability to live sustainably by making environmentally and socially conscious decisions. We track whether respondents have felt the need to deprioritize sustainable choices, given their economic situation.


Personal ambition can create economic growth

Personal ambition encourages individuals to set and pursue goals, whether in their careers, personal lives or communities. Collectively, this can lead to increased productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship, which are key economic growth and development drivers. In addition, personal ambition can help create a more dynamic and competitive economy, as individuals seek new opportunities and take risks to achieve their goals. The Nordic countries have a strong tradition of valuing personal ambition, which has helped create a highly skilled and motivated workforce that is well-positioned to drive economic growth and competitiveness.

How we define personal ambition: 

Personal ambition is the driving force that motivates an individual to pursue their goals and succeed in their endeavors. We measure whether one has felt the need to put a personal goal on hold, given their financial situation. We also measure what personal goals are put on hold most, such as financial and personal growth goals.

How one’s economy affects belief in the future

A positive outlook on one’s economic future can help drive investment, innovation and economic growth, as individuals and businesses feel confident about their prospects and take on new risks and opportunities.

In the Nordic region, belief in the future is shaped by several factors, including strong economic fundamentals, high levels of education and skills and a well-functioning social welfare system. This fosters a sense of security and stability that encourages individuals and businesses to plan for the future and invest in their success.

How we define belief in the future: 

"Belief in the future" measures respondents’ level of optimism regarding their economic future, which affects financial planning, decision-making and financial security.

Financial literacy is about skills

Financial literacy involves not only having specific knowledge and skills but also the confidence to make decisions to achieve financial well-being. When people manage their own economy well, they contribute to a secure future for themselves and stable financial markets for society. A  more inclusive and equal society can lead to improved social cohesion and stability, creating a more favourable environment for business and investment and helping to drive a healthy and thriving economy.

How we define "financial literacy": 

With "financial literacy," we are measuring people’s ability to understand and feel in control of their personal economy. The Nordic Pulse will provide insights into differences in financial literacy based on age, region, gender, income, marital status, as well as other factors that may play a role.

Nordic + ideas = Nordea

Did you know that our name comes from the combination of Nordic and ideas?  

We are a universal bank with a 200-year history of supporting and growing the Nordic economies. Our values are deeply rooted in these open, progressive and collaborative societies. We are the largest bank in the Nordics and have a strong market position within our four business areas: Personal Banking, Business Banking, Large Corporates & Institutions and Asset & Wealth Management. Mindful of our responsibility towards current and future generations, we have made sustainability an integrated part of our business strategy. We enable sustainable choices for our customers, engage in active ownership and drive change through our lending and investment decisions.

Read more about who we are


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