Nordic City Regions in the Creative Class Debate: Putting the Creative Class Thesis to a Test

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Nordic countries have a quite different urban structure and social systems than the USA. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden may then constitute a critical test of the empirical reach of Richard Florida's much cited creative class thesis beyond its empirical basis in the USA. This paper employs comparative statistics to examine the importance of the quality of place in attracting members of the creative class to Nordic city regions, and it analyses the role of the creative class for regional economic development. Florida's original study focused only on city regions with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Our statistical analyses mainly support Florida's results with regard to these larger Nordic city regions. The paper, however, also analyses smaller city regions, which are important in the Nordic urban structure. The findings are clearly less supportive for these smaller regions, which mean that the original creative class approach has to be considerably refined when used in the Nordic context.


  • Kristina Vaarst Andersen
  • Høgni Kalsø Hansen
  • Arne Isaksen
  • Mika Raunio
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Regional growth, creative class, Nordic countries
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-240
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch