Nordland County Council's vision is for Nordland to become the best region in Norway in which to grow up, work, and live. We provide important services to the residents of the region, with responsibilities cutting across societal, economic, and environmental needs. In addition, we are aligning our policies with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in order to build a greener, cleaner Nordland. You can read more about our areas of responsibility below:
Nordland, a rich region
Hans Erik Elmholdt
- 10% of Norway’s electrical power is produced in Nordland (15 Twh)
- Nordland is the second largest hydropower producer in Norway
- Nordland is Norway’s largest fish-farming county, with 65% of the exports from Northern Norway coming from Nordland
- Nordland is the fourth largest of Norway’s 11 counties, behind Troms og Finnmark, Innlandet, and Trøndelag
- 241,235 people live in Nordland, and Bodø, the region’s capital city, is home to 52,357 residents
- Bodø, along with Nordland, is a European Capital of Culture for 2024
- The Nordland bunad has been voted the most beautiful version of the Norwegian national costume
- Nordland has a rich coastal culture dating back at least 10,000 years, and is home to Norway’s national mountain, Stetind, the Norwegian mainland's second largest glacier, Svartisen, and one of the strongest maelstroms in the world, Saltstraumen
- The county flower of Nordland is the Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia)
The political system
Nordland has a parliamentary form of democracy, which operates on a proportional representation electoral system; the same as the Norwegian supreme legislature (Stortinget).
The highest regional political authority in Nordland is the county council (fylkesting), which has 45 representatives who are elected every four years in the county elections. The county council meets five times annually to identify, discuss and develop policies to better the lives of the people of Nordland.
Additionally, the county council has a responsibility to promote the interests of Nordland to the national government, the Storting, and the various departmental ministries. The county council also adopts an overall planned strategy for Nordland, which establishes and clarifies the objectives, strategies, and ongoing progress towards regional development.
Chair of the County Government:
Svein Øien Eggesvik (Sp)
Executive of Transport /Deputy Chair of the County Government:
Marianne Dobak Kvensjø (H)
Executive of Education and Competence:
Joakim Sennesvik (H)
Executive of Business Development:
Bjørn Larsen (Frp)
(The Progress Party)
Executive of Finance and Organization:
Anette Amalie Åbodsvik Bang (Sp)
Executive of Society, Culture and Environment:
Arne Ivar Mikalsen (V)
Executive of Development and Property:
Lise Henriette Rånes (H)
Eivind Holst (H)
County Mayor (fylkesordfører) is elected by the county council and has responsibility for arranging and chairing its meetings. Additionally, the chair of the county council is responsible for appointing a chair of the county government (fylkesrådsleder), who in turn has the task of forming a county government. The county government is selected in a manner that promotes gender balance, while ensuring that the most suitable representatives are selected.
Furthermore, the county government meets once a week to discuss policy issues, and in turn prepares cases to be submitted before the county council for review. The county government’s powers are determined by the county council, and due to the precedence of parliamentary democracy, the latter can replace the county government if need be. Currently, there are six members of the county government, who work alongside the chair of the county council:
The overseeing the day-to-day running of Nordland falls under the remit of the county government, who, on behalf of the county council, manages the following areas:
Upper secondary education
The county government is responsible for all upper secondary education in Nordland. This includes 16 schools, 9,200 pupils, 3,000 apprentices, and 170 vocational school students. Nordland is also involved in various overseas exchange programmes for its student population. Education constitutes the largest sector in the county, and spending on education constitutes 40% of the council’s total budget.
Dental health services
Dental care is overseen by the county government, with a total of 250 employees providing dental services to the citizens of Nordland. These are separated over 17 clinic areas, and include 43 general and secondary clinics, one prison clinic, four hospital clinics, and five specialist clinics.
The specialist clinics are in Sandnessjøen, Mo i Rana, Bodø, Sortland and Narvik. At all these clinics you will find a dental specialist in orthodontics (orthodontics). In Bodø, a dental specialist also works in periodontics (gum disease) and endodontics (root filling), and in Sandnessjøen there is also a dental specialist in endodontics. In almost every Nordland municipality, there is a county municipal dental clinic, and the dental health service is thus the most decentralized service in the county municipality. Dental health service provision is led by the county dental health director.
The dental health service is responsible for dental health services for priority groups. Patients in the priority groups receive an automatic summons in accordance with the Dental Health Services Act.
Inge Ove Tysnes
The county government works towards the goal that all inhabitants in Nordland can be physically active based on their personal needs and circumstances. Modern lifestyles pose the greatest present-day challenge to good public health, and as such, a health-promoting and illness-preventing plan may reduce the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. We run preventative public health schemes directed at the entire population, with a special focus on children and young people.
Culture is vital for people’s wellbeing and development. The county government actively promotes the diversity of culture in a wide field of expression. Our goal is for cultural experiences to be available and accessible to all residents of Nordland.
Different departments are dedicated to promoting the performing and visual arts as well as cultural heritage including archaeology, and we have a special focus on promoting culture to children and young people. The county government runs the County Library, the Regional Archive, and the Nordland College of Art and Film, which is the only public vocational college in Norway to offer two-year courses in art and film. Furthermore, we provide support for different cultural events, such as museums, festivals, and local cultural development.
Nordland has a wealth of history, which is well-reflected by the many museums in the region. Whether it’s immersing yourself in a Viking longhouse at the Lofotr Viking Museum, exploring a preserved 19th century settlement at Kjerringøy Trading Post, or journeying through the life of the Nobel Prize-winning author Knut Hamsun at the Hamarøy Hamsun Centre, Nordland has a lot to offer.
In addition, the international project Artscape Nordland (Skulpturlandskap Nordland) has seen the creation of outdoor sculptures across 36 municipalities, by artists from 20 countries.
Transport, roads, and infrastructure
- 440 buses in use
- 7,000 bus stops
- 4,100 km of county highway
- 19 express boat connections and 23 ferry connections
- 52 road tunnels
- 990 bridges
- 125km of walking and cycling paths
The county government is responsible for the construction and maintenance of county roads, and for the management of public bus and boat services.
This includes school buses and among other things transportation services for people with disabilities.
You can organise your journeys across the county with our travel planner.
Environment, planning, and regional development
The protection and enhancement of the environment is one of the county council's main objectives, as part of its alignments with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. A clean, healthy environment that promotes and facilitates sustainable development is the legacy that must be left to future generations. As part of this, we aim to provide more sustainable energy from renewable sources.
To achieve this, several thematic regional plans have been approved in the last few years, such as the Nordland Regional Wind Energy Plan, the Regional Plan for Climate Change, and the Nordland Regional Small Hydro Power Plan. Municipalities, volunteers, associations, NGOs, and businesses may apply for subsidies for environmental efforts from the county council.
We are focusing on challenges related to climate change and emission reduction. In addition, the county council is working to improve the uptake of measures by local and regional planning in meeting the challenges of a changing climate.
Business, trade, and innovation
Among Norwegian counties, Nordland is one of the largest exporters of raw materials, industrial goods, energy, and fish products. Nordland County Council contributes to the development of local societies and business within the county. We co-ordinate joint efforts to develop valuable and exciting jobs for the residents of Nordland.
- 65% of exports from Northern Norway come from Nordland
- 10% of the world’s farmed salmon are sourced from Nordland, along with 70% of Norway's total haul
- Helgeland, in southern Nordland, has the second largest industrial cluster in Norway
- Nordland is one of two counties in Norway with the highest production of hydroelectricity
We wish to create a vigorous county with a growing population, economic growth, strong employment, and robust welfare. To contribute to the development of business in the county, we focus especially on strengthening research and development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure. We are engaged in multiple channels of international cultural and commercial co-operation.
Globalisation affects policy development and administration at all levels; national, regional, and local, and as such presents new opportunities and challenges. Nordland County Council is an active participant in the international arena, and is using growing interconnectivity as a tool to improve the region’s competitiveness and attractiveness for inward investment and migration.
Nordland County Council engages in international relations in several ways: through membership in international organisations, bilateral agreements with other European, Russian, and Chinese sub-national regions, and national networks that create a common platform for working internationally. We are also one of the owners of the North Norway European Office in Brussels, which works to promote the interests of northern Norway in the European Union. The county council's international office is responsible for co-ordinating the international affairs of the county.
Here are some examples of the regional and international projects that the council is involved with:
- Co-operating regions:
- Leningrad and Arkhangelsk, Russia
- Veneto and Marche, Italy
- Zhejiang, China
- Interreg programmes:
- Northern Periphery and Arctic (Nordland County Council is the national contact point for the programme)
- European organisations:
- Assembly of European Regions
- Barents co-operation:
- The Barents Regional Council
- The Norwegian Barents Secretariat (Nordland County Council is one of the two owners)
- Nordic co-operation:
- Nordic Atlantic Co-operation
- Northern Sparsely Populated Areas
Nordland Youth Parliament meet annually. Two representatives from municipal youth councils are invited to debate and negotiate on youth policy strategies. They also elect 9 members to Nordland Youth Council.