Sharp drop in travel in Sweden – Norwegians travel the least

Data from Telia's mobile network show how much the Swedes have reduced their travel in March as a result of the novel coronavirus. The biggest change was travel in Sandviken, where the number of trips decreased by 46 percent. Among the Nordic capitals, Oslo dropped the most with 42 percent less trips.

Telia Crowd Insights is a service that analyzes anonymized and aggregated mobile network data. This provides a way to understand grouped movement behavior in society, such as travel patterns.

Telia's data for trips to and from Swedish municipalities during the period March 12 to March 19 show a major change in Swedish travelling behavior; The largest impact was to Sandviken, where travel decreased by 46%, followed by Munkfors (-43%) and Solna (-42%).

In the Stockholm area, Solna accounted for the largest decline (-42%), followed by Sigtuna (-38%) and Sollentuna (-37%). Corresponding figures for the Västra Götaland region were Strömstad (-37%), Skövde (-35%) and Karlsborg (-34%). In Malmö County, the largest change to travelling was to Lund (-29%), the City of Malmö (-28%) and Lomma (-27%).

“We looked at data during the same period that many large companies and organizations recommended their employees to work from home and the government's call for distance education. This explains the big differences during the period,” says Kristofer Ågren, Head of Data Insights at Telia.

Biggest change in Oslo
Telia has also studied the trips in the Nordic capitals during the same period. In Oslo, travel decreased by 42%, in Copenhagen by 37%, Helsinki by 34% and Stockholm by 28%.

“Traveling in Norway and Denmark was heavily reduced already on March 12 to 13. In Sweden we saw the first big change on March 16. The timing of the decline in Denmark and Norway coincides with decisions from the government on comprehensive measures, including closing schools,” says Kristofer Ågren.

Empty workplaces
Telia's data can also show where larger groups of people are located. In the Stockholm area, the biggest change during the period was in central Stockholm, and in Solna (Frösunda and Arenastaden).

“It’s a big difference compared to an ordinary day; many places are basically empty. The change is so obvious in Stockholm city and in parts of Solna because many who can work remotely have their workplaces there,” says Kristofer Ågren.

Integrity first
All data is anonymized and aggregated automatically before use to protect personal privacy and can never be traced back to an individual. The only thing analyzed is movement patterns for groups, disconnected from individual and person.

Read more about Telia Crowd Insights here