The integration index is a measurement of interaction between regions in the STRING geography, and the intention is to measure the progress and setbacks in this process. The interaction between regions is measured using parameters within the area of travel, tourism, busi ness, trade, labour and the housing market. As we are measuring cross-border activities, the components of the integration index are often a compromise, as statistics on the parameters does not always exist comparatively for all countries.
Integration in the STRING area has increased by 9 % since 2008, despite the financial crisis. This increase can mainly be explained through positive developments in the areas of labour market and transport, whilst the indices for business and tourism have decreased since 2008.
Three addittional indicators, measuring our views and perceptions on moving to the other side of the Fehmarnbelt, finding employment on the other side, and how well we under- stand our neighbouring languages, are presented in the graphs below.
As expected, the language skills of the inhabitants in Region Zealand and the Capital Region of denmark are the highest in the STRING region. It used to be mandatory to learn German in danish schools, resulting in almost half of the inhabitants (45 %) speaking German, and only 9 % not understanding German at all.
In Skåne, one in three people speak German, whilst 20 % do not understand any German. In Germany, 70 % do not understand danish, and only 6 % speak danish to a limited degree or fluently. The latter part is without doubt strongly represented in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.