Finland has the most library visitors in the Nordic region


A new report from The Nordic Council of Ministers, State of the Nordic Region, analyses key numbers from the Nordic countries and compares them across borders and regions. The figures show that when it comes to library visitors, Finland is at the top in the Nordic region.

Virtually all major cities in the Nordic region have at least one public library, and usually, the Nordic people are frequent library visitors. But when comparing library visitors, Finland tops the list in the Nordic countries, and Finns use the libraries almost twice as much as the Norwegians.

Combined, it is the three Nordic capitals Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen, which have the most library visitors; Helsinki has 6.3 million visitors to 37 libraries, Stockholm has 6 million to 45 libraries, Copenhagen has 4.6 million visitors to 20 libraries. Oslo only has 20 libraries and is also the capital region with the fewest library visitors – just 2.5 million a year.

Museums are popular in the Nordic countries

Not surprisingly, the survey also shows that the capitals have the highest number of museums and museum visitors in the Nordic region. Helsinki is, however, at the bottom of both parameters among the five capitals of the Nordic region.

At the top is Stockholm with 51 museums and 11.02 museum visitors per inhabitant. Reykjavik has 29 museums and 5.38 museum visitors per inhabitant. Copenhagen has 24 museums and 5.02 museum visitors per inhabitant. Oslo has 23 museums and 7.19 museum visitors per inhabitant. Lowest you will find Helsinki with 18 museums and 3.08 museum visitors per inhabitant.

The Finns go less to the cinema

When it comes to the number of cinemagoers, Finland is also found at the bottom with only 1.6 visitors per inhabitants per years on average. By comparison, Icelanders go to the cinema an average of 4.2 times a year. The Norwegians occupy second place with 2.5 annual visits, followed by Denmark with 2.3. Sweden is at 1.8 visitors per inhabitants per years on average.


State of the Nordic Region’ is published every second year and contributes with a combination of knowledge and information that provides an overall perspective on the development in the Nordic region and helps Nordic decision-makers to shape new policies. The report highlights and explains successes as well as challenges in important areas of society. This is Nordic cooperation at its absolute best, says Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

State of the Nordic Region is compiled by Nordregio, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ research centre for regional development and planning, and the chapter on culture is done in cooperation with Kulturanalys Norden, the Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis.

State of the Nordic Region is a unique collection of data from the Nordic countries about economics, demography, labour relations, education and much more, illustrated with custom-designed maps. The report is published every second year by the Nordic Council of Ministers and monitors the pulse of regions and municipalities in the Nordic region. As part of the

Read the report here