Västerbotten is the second largest province in the country and covers more than one eighth of the total area of Sweden. The natural resources are some of the province’s largest assets. A journey through Västerbotten takes you from the flat country by the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, through the vast coniferous forests and mires in the inland to the magnificent mountains in the west. Umeå with it’s 119 000 inhabitants is the seat of the provincial administration.
Intense environmental efforts are carried out in Västerbotten. A new regional system is being developed in order to describe the environmental state of the province. Västerbotten has been selected by the Government as one of three pilot provinces in order to further develop the efforts to create a sustainable development.
The province is large and the population is spread over the whole area. Consequently, communications are of major importance to the inhabitants and the economy. The largest projects are the building of Botniabanan and the planning of Norrbotniabanan – two new railway lines.
Higher education is an important factor for development. Broad research, comprising all disciplines, is carried out at the university in Umeå with its approximately 37 000 students. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is also situated in Umeå. Luleå University of Technology and Umeå University have decentralised branches for education and research in Skellefteå. In addition there are also university courses for approximately 300 students in Lycksele.
The extension of the airport in Hemavan and the completion of the tunnel under Umskaret are important investments in the mountain region of Västerbotten. The implementation of these projects creates good opportunities, not the least for the tourism sector.
Västerbotten is strategically situated in northern Europe. The province is a gateway to the Barents region and the Baltic region and has a central position in relation to north-eastern Russia and Helgeland in Norway. Västerbotten participates in regional co-operation programmes for the development of our adjacent regions, for example Kvarken and Mittskandia, the Barents Euro Artic Co-operation, the Baltic Co-operation and the Northern Dimension.
(Text: County Government, Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten)