ESPOO (Finnish pronunciation: ; Swedish : Esbo, ) is the second
largest city and municipality in
Finland . The population of the city
Espoo was 270,416 as of 31 March 2016 . 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
Vantaa , and
Espoo shares its eastern border
Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is on
the shore of the Gulf of
Finland , in the region of
Other bordering municipalities of
the north, and
Kirkkonummi in the west. The national park of Nuuksio
is situated in northwestern Espoo.
Espoo encompasses 312 square kilometres (120 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): Vanha-Espoo
(with administrative center ),
Suur-Kauklahti , Suur-
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 Networks ,
Neste Oil ,
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.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Location
* 3.2 Subdivision
* 3.3 Features
* 5 Culture
* 6 Sports
* 7 Politics
* 8 International relations
* 8.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
* 9 Notable people
* 10 See also
* 11 References
* 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 steam locomotive at
Kauklahti railway station in
the 1920s 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 during the 12th and
13th centuries, assimilating the sparse local Finnish-speaking
Espoo was a subdivision of the
until 1486-7. The oldest known document referring to
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
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 is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of
Finland , and in the region of
Uusimaa and the
Helsinki sub-region .
Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009,
Espoo was a part
of the Southern
Finland Province .
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
Districts of Espoo
Espoo is divided into seven major areas (Finnish : suuralueet,
Swedish : storområden):
Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center ),
Suur-Kauklahti , Suur-
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
Espoo has six
Natura 2000 protected areas : Bånberget forests,
Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in
Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake,
Nuuksio National Park (partially in
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
Anemone nemorosa .
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.
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 ">
Espoo Metro Areena
Tapiolan Urheilupuisto stadium in
1952 Summer Olympics , the city's Westend Tennis Hall hosted
the fencing events.
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
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
Räikkönen , former
Dallas Stars forward
Jere Lehtinen (three time
Selke Trophy winner), former
Formula One driver
JJ Lehto ,
professional downhill mountain biker
Matti Lehikoinen , professional
ten-pin bowling star
Osku Palermaa and 2009 European Figure Skating
Laura Lepistö .
The city hall of Espoo, located in
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 6, Centre Party 3, Left Alliance 3,
Christian Democrats 2 and Liberal Party 1.
Support for the center-right
National Coalition Party is high in
Espoo. Results of the
Finnish parliamentary election, 2011 in Espoo:
National Coalition Party 40.4%
True Finns 14.6%
* Social Democratic Party 14.4%
Green League 11.6%
* 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 in the autumn View from Kasavuori
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
Espoo is twinned with:
Esztergom , Hungary
Gatchina , Russia
Irving, Texas ,
Køge , Denmark
Kongsberg , Norway
Kristianstad , Sweden
Nõmme , Estonia
Sauðárkrókur , Iceland
Shanghai , China
Sochi , Russia
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
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
Children of Bodom
Janne Wirman (born 1979), keyboardist of metal bands Children of
Bodom and Warm
Kimi Räikkönen (born 1979), racing driver and
Formula 1 - World
Aki Hakala (born 1979), drummer of the band
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 "Population density by area 1.1.2016". Statistics Finland.
Retrieved 12 February 2017.
* ^ "Ennakkoväkiluku sukupuolen mukaan alueittain, maaliskuu.2016"
(in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
* ^ "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
* ^ "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",
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,
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