In modern times, the term Hålogaland is used in a variety of senses. For some purposes, all of Nord-Norge plus Svalbard and Jan Mayen are covered under the term Hålogaland. For other purposes the counties of Nordland and Troms constitute Hålogaland. Hålogaland or even Mid Hålogaland are frequent terms covering the smaller districts of Ofoten, Lofoten and Vesterålen, as well as the municipalities Bjarkøy, Gratangen, Harstad, Ibestad, Kvæfjord and Skånland of Troms county. The term has also been used in this last sense, minus the Lofoten archipelago.
Hålogaland, in every sense of the word, is drowned coastline containing extensive mountainous fjords and islands. It was an excellent refuge for Viking ships as well as a way station for voyagers to the White Sea, which offered access to Russia. Even in modern times, Narvik was an important WWII objective.
The name is connected also (in folk etymology at least) with Helgeland, today just to the southwest of Hålogaland. It is possible that they were considered the same country then. In that case, Hölgi would be identical to Helgi. The name was and is fairly common, being owned also by Halga in Beowulf. There is an epithet of Logi, Haloge.
One possible early source removes the question of name origin to a time before the Viking Age of the sagas: Hålogaland may be the location of the Adogit (Halogit?) that Jordanes named as the most northern tribe of Scandza. In that case the name would be indefinitely ancient, possibly dating to any time from Jordanes' era (Germanic migration period) to remote antiquity, limited only by glacial inaccessibility.
The many possibilities remain uncertain. Perhaps the name is Sami, assigned by the Lapplanders whose descendants now live in Finnmark to the north. If it is a personal name, perhaps it is related to our holy, either the land or its eponymous hero being sacred in some way (see Halga). Perhaps the word is related to our hell, being then an underworld figure and earth goddess. Or, if the Ha- is segmented out, perhaps it refers to a god of fire (logi), or is related to our lock in the sense of "enclosure", or means "tall Logi" (see under Fornjót).
Whatever the name may turn out to be, the dominant residents of the sagas are clearly Indo-european and Nordic, as the names and customs attest. If there is a Lappish element, it isn't clearly identified.