Espoo (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈespoː]; Swedish: Esbo,
[ˈɛsbo]) is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. The
population of the city of
Espoo was 270,416 as of 31 March
2016[update]. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, and most of
its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki
metropolitan area, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and
Espoo shares its eastern border with
Helsinki and Vantaa,
while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is on the shore of the Gulf of
Finland, in the region of Uusimaa.
Other bordering municipalities of
the north, and
Kirkkonummi in the west. The national park of Nuuksio
is situated in northwestern Espoo.
Espoo encompasses 528 square kilometres (204 sq mi), of
which 312 km2 (120 sq mi) is land.
Espoo doesn't have a traditional city center at all, but it has
several local regional centers.
Espoo is thus divided into seven major
areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden):
administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo,
Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola.
Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving
science community that includes numerous startups and organizations
such as VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Several
major companies are based in Espoo, including Nokia, HMD Global,
Tieto, KONE, Neste Oil, Fortum, Orion Corporation, and Outokumpu, as
well as video game developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment.
The city of
Espoo is officially bilingual. The majority of the
population, 83.6%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a
minority of 8.3% speaks Swedish. 8% of Espoo's population has a first
language other than Finnish or Swedish.
8 International relations
8.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
9 Notable people
10 See also
12 External links
Espoo probably comes from the Swedish name for the River
Espoo, Espå (or Espåå), which in turn comes from the old Swedish
word äspe, meaning a border of aspen, and the Swedish word for
"river", å, thus "a river bordered by aspen". The name was first
mentioned in 1431. The banks of the River
Espoo are even today heavily
populated with aspen.
VR Class Vk3
VR Class Vk3 steam locomotive at
Kauklahti railway station
Kauklahti railway station in the
Anti-aircraft searchlight in
Haukilahti in 1940
The first inhabitants in the area arrived about 9,000 years ago.
Physical evidence (pollen grains) indicates agriculture from ca. 1000
AD, but there are no historical records. Up to the 13th century, the
area was a borderland between the hunting grounds of Finnish Proper
and Tavastian Finns, with a sparse population.
Immigrants from Sweden
established permanent agricultural settlements to the area from late
13th century onwards after the so-called Second Crusade to Finland.
Espoo was a subdivision of the
Kirkkonummi congregation until 1486-7.
The oldest known document referring to
Kirkkonummi is from 1330; Espoo
as a subchapter has been dated to the 1380s, although the first
document directly referring to
Espoo is from as late as 1431. The
construction of the
Espoo Cathedral, the oldest preserved building in
Espoo, marks the independence of Espoo. Administratively,
Espoo was a
part of Uusimaa. When the province was split to Eastern and Western
provinces governed from the
Porvoo and Raasepori castles,
respectively, the eastern border of the Raasepori province was in
Espoo. The 13th century road connecting the most important cities in
Finland at that time, the King's Road, passes through
Espoo on its way
Porvoo to Viipuri.
In 1557, King
Gustaf Wasa decided to stabilize and develop the region
by founding a royal mansion in Espoo. The government bought the
villages of Espåby and
Mankby (Finnish: Mankki) and transferred the
population elsewhere, and built the royal mansion in Espåby. (Mankby
was eventually abandoned and was never repopulated.) The royal mansion
housed the king's local plenipotentiary (vogt), and collected royal
tax in kind paid by labor on the mansion's farm. The administrative
Espoon keskus has grown around the church and the
station, but the municipality has retained a network-like structure to
the modern day.
Espoo was only a rural municipality of about 9,000
inhabitants, of whom 70% were Swedish speaking. Agriculture was the
primary source of income, with 75% of the population making their
living from farming.
Kauniainen was separated from
Espoo in 1920, and
it gained city rights the same year as Espoo, in 1972.
Espoo started to grow rapidly in the 1940s and '50s. It quickly
developed from a rural municipality into a fully-fledged industrial
city, gaining city rights in 1972. Due to its proximity to Helsinki,
Espoo soon became popular amongst people working in the capital. In
the fifty years from 1950 to 2000, the population of
Espoo grew from
22,000 to 210,000. Since 1945, the majority of people in
been Finnish speaking. In 2006, the Swedish speaking inhabitants
represented barely 9% of the total population. The population growth
is still continuing, but at a slower rate.
The districts and major areas of Espoo
Espoo is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of
Finland, and in the region of
Uusimaa and the
Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009,
Espoo was a part
of the Southern
The city borders Helsinki, the Finnish capital, which is to the east.
Other neighbouring municipalities are
Vantaa to the east and
Nurmijärvi to the north,
Vihti to the northwest, and
Kirkkonummi to the west and southwest.
Espoo is a part of the Finnish
Capital Region, which is the inner core of the Greater Helsinki
Main article: Districts of Espoo
Espoo is divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish:
Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center),
Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara,
Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola. These major areas are then divided
into a total of 56 districts.
Espoo is relatively highly populated, it has large amounts of
natural wilderness, particularly in the city's western and northern
portions. The city has a total of 71 lakes, the largest of which are
Lake Bodom, Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, Vanhankylän Pitkäjärvi,
Loojärvi, Velskolan Pitkäjärvi, Saarijärvi, Matalajärvi,
Siikajärvi, and Lippajärvi. The city has a large coastline on the
Gulf of Finland.
Espoo has six
Natura 2000 protected areas: Bånberget forests,
Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in Kirkkonummi),
Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake,
Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio National Park (partially in
Kirkkonummi and Vihti), as well as forests in Vestra (partially in
The official animal of
Espoo is the Siberian flying squirrel, the
official bird is the common blackbird, and the official plant is
Historical population of Espoo
Population by grand district (in 2006)
The population by nationality 1 January 2007 was 95.1% Finnish and
4.9% other nationalities. Religious affiliation was 77.4% Lutheran,
1.3% Orthodox, 1.3% other, and 19.9% no religious affiliation.
Espoo contains many high income suburbs, and six out of the ten
highest average income postal code areas in
Finland are in
Espoo Cultural Centre
Espoo hosts a Museum of Modern Art called EMMA (
Espoo Museum of Modern
Art), built in a renovated old print house, the WeeGee house, named
after an old book print company Weilin & Göös. The same building
hosts also Finland's only Museum of
Horology (Finnish: Kellomuseo,
Swedish: Urmuseum) and a Toy Museum.
Glims Farmstead Museum
Glims Farmstead Museum is also
located in the city. The
Espoo cultural centre, home of the
Tapiola Sinfonietta, where numerous concerts and
theater performances are held, is located in
Espoo has several old manors of which two are open to the general
public. The most important is Espoon kartano (Swedish: Esbo gård,
Espoo Manor), first mentioned in maps in 1495, and belonging to the
noble Ramsay family since 1756. The current main building dates back
to 1914, but a mill dates from the 1750s and
Finland oldest walved
stone bridge from 1777 is on the King's Road (Finnish: Kuninkaantie,
Swedish: Kungsvägen) which passes by the manor. The main building can
be rented for weddings and similar occasions. Guided tours are
available on request for groups. The other manor open to public is
Pakankylän kartano, located on the northern shore of Lake Bodom. The
manor hosts a restaurant and club rooms, partly with original
furniture open to the public, but meant originally to Kaisankoti
sanatory and old people's home located on ground of the manor.
Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom comes from Espoo, Finland. They are
named after the unsolved murder known as the
Lake Bodom murders which
took place at the shore of Lake Bodom, a lake in northern Espoo, in
1960. The bands
Kiuas also come from Espoo.
The educational department took part in Lifelong Learning Programme
2007–2013 in Finland.
Espoo Metro Areena
Espoo Metro Areena in Tapiola
Tapiolan Urheilupuisto stadium in Tapiola
At the 1952 Summer Olympics, the city's Westend Tennis Hall hosted the
Espoo is home to several sports teams.
Espoo Blues were an ice hockey
team which played at highest level
SM-liiga between 1998 and 2016
before the team went bankrupt. Between 1984 and 1998 the team was
known as Kiekko-Espoo. A new team called
Espoo United was established
Espoo Blues and United now play ice hockey at the second
highest level Mestis. The
Espoo United women's hockey team play at the
highest level, women's SM-liiga.
Espoo United are also active in
basketball and the male basketball team play at the second highest
level and the women's basketball team play at the highest level,
FC Honka (also known as Esport Honka) is a football club that was
promoted into the Finnish premier division (Veikkausliiga) for the
first time in its history at the end of the 2005 season. Honka
currently plays at the second highest level Ykkönen. They play their
home matches at Tapiolan urheilupuisto.
Espoo also has two floorball
teams playing at highest level Salibandyliiga. The two teams are
Esport Oilers and Westend Indians.
Espoo is the birthplace of 2007
Formula One World Champion Kimi
Dallas Stars forward
Jere Lehtinen (three time NHL
Selke Trophy winner), former
Formula One driver JJ Lehto, professional
downhill mountain biker Matti Lehikoinen, professional ten-pin bowling
Osku Palermaa and 2009 European Figure Skating Champion Laura
The city hall of Espoo, located in Espoon keskus
Espoo's city council has 75 members. Following the municipal election
of 2017 the council seats are allocated in the following way: National
Coalition Party 26 seats, Greens 17, Social Democrats 10, True Finns
Swedish People's Party
Swedish People's Party 6, Centre Party 3, Left Alliance 3,
Christian Democrats 2 and Liberal Party 1.
Support for the center-right
National Coalition Party
National Coalition Party is high in
Espoo. Results of the
Finnish parliamentary election, 2011
Finnish parliamentary election, 2011 in Espoo:
National Coalition Party
National Coalition Party 40.4%
True Finns 14.6%
Social Democratic Party 14.4%
Green League 11.6%
Swedish People's Party
Swedish People's Party 6.7%
Centre Party 4.3%
Left Alliance 3.6%
Christian Democrats 2.7%
Espoo is the home for
True Finns chairman Timo Soini.
Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio National Park in autumn
View from Kasavuori in Soukka
Twin towns – Sister cities
Espoo is twinned with:
Irving, Texas, United States
Gösta Sundqvist (1957-2003), bandleader of Leevi and the Leavings
Marten Mickos (born 1962), entrepreneur
JJ Lehto (born 1966), racing driver
Jere Lehtinen (born 1973), ice hockey player
Susan Aho (born 1974), singer and member of the band Värttinä
Kirsi Heikkinen (born 1978), football referee
Charly Wegelius (born 1978), British cyclist
Heidi Parviainen (born 1979), lyric soprano, metal - singer
Alexi Laiho (born 1979), guitarist and vocalist, co-founder of the
metal band Children of Bodom
Janne Wirman (born 1979), keyboardist of metal bands Children of Bodom
Kimi Räikkönen (born 1979), racing driver and
Formula 1 - World
Aki Hakala (born 1979), drummer of the band The Rasmus
Petri Lindroos (born 1980), member of the metal bands
Eero Ettala (born 1984), snowboarder
Marcus Sandell (born 1987), alpine skier
Laura Lepistö (born 1988), figure skater
The UN's Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a
Transboundary Context, signed in
Espoo 1991 (text of Convention)
Districts of Espoo
Sello mall shooting
List of European regions by GDP
^ a b "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land
Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
^ "Ennakkoväkiluku sukupuolen mukaan alueittain, elokuu 2017" (in
Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
^ "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and
land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's
PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
^ "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December
2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland.
Retrieved 28 April 2009.
^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration
of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014.
Retrieved 30 September 2014.
^ Tilastokeskus. "Population statistics", Tilastokeskus, Retrieved on
9 June 2014.
^ "Espoo: Tulos puolueittain ja yhteislistoittain". Ministry of
Justice. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
^ "Twin towns". Espoo. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
^ "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Retrieved
12 March 2014.
Espoon kaupungin taskutilasto 2007, issued by the City of Espoo, 2007
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Espoo.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Espoo.
1952 Summer Olympics
1952 Summer Olympics official report. p. 50.
Espoo – Official website (in Finnish)
Espoo (Esbo) – Official website (in Swedish)
Espoo – Official website (in English)
Espoo for travellers (in Finnish) (in Swedish) (in
Helsinki University of Technology – located in
Espoo (in Finnish)
(in Swedish) (in English)
Helsinki region in a nutshell (in Finnish) (in
Swedish) (in English)
Articles and topics related to Espoo
The major districts and districts of Espoo
Pohjois-Espoo (Norra Esbo)
Tapiola (Norra Hagalund)
Vanha-Espoo (Gamla Esbo)
Espoon keskus (Esbo centrum)
Nuuksio (Gamla Noux)
Municipalities of Uusimaa
Venues of the 1952 Summer Olympics
Helsinki Football Grounds
Malmi Rifle Range
Ruskeasuo Equestrian Hall
Tali Race Track
Westend Tennis Hall
Olympic venues in fencing
1900: Tuileries Garden
1904: Francis Gymnasium
1908: Franco-British Exhibition Fencing Grounds
1912: Östermalms IP
1920: Gardens of the Egmont Palace
1924: Stade de Colombes
1932: 160th Regiment State Armory
1936: Haus des Deutschen Sports, Tennis Courts
1948: Wembley Palace of Engineering
1952: Westend Tennis Hall
1956: St Kilda Town Hall
1960: Palazzo dei Congressi
1964: Waseda Memorial Hall
1968: Fernando Montes de Oca Fencing Hall
1972: Messegelände, Fechthalle 1,
Messegelände Fechthalle 2
1976: Winter Stadium, Université de Montréal
1980: CSKA Football Fieldhouse
1984: Long Beach Convention Center
1988: Olympic Fencing Gymnasium
1992: Palau de la Metal·lúrgia
1996: Georgia World Congress Center
2000: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
2004: Fencing Hall
2008: Olympic Green Convention Center
2012: ExCeL, Copper Box
2016: Carioca Arena 3
2020: Makuhari Messe
2024: Grand Palais
2028: Los Angeles