Norrbotten (Swedish: [²nɔrːˌbɔtːɛn]), known in English as
North Bothnia, is a Swedish province (landskap) in northernmost
Sweden. It borders south to Västerbotten, west to Swedish Lapland,
and east to Finland.
8 External links
The traditional provinces of
Sweden serve no administrative or
political purposes, but are historical and cultural entities. In this
case, however, the county is older than the province. When the new
national border to the Russian Grand Duchy of
Finland formed, the
Västerbotten split in two, and formed the municipalities
of Kolari, Muonio, Pello, Tornio, and Ylitornio. However, Finnish
Västerbotten is not recognized enough as its own historical province,
so it's usually merged instead with Ostrobothnia, however leaving out
Muonio to Laponia. The northernmost of the counties of
created in 1810 consisting of the northern parts of Lappland and
Västerbotten. After that, northern
Västerbotten has gradually
evolved as a province of its own.
Not being one of the old historical provinces of
not been granted a coat of arms in the same way as the others. As
recently as 1995, after decades of controversy,
Norrbotten got its
arms, thus recognized as a "real" province.
During the Middle ages, the area was sparsely populated by Sami
people, who lived on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding. From the
Middle Ages and forward, the Swedish kings tried hard to colonise and
Christianize the area. Settlers from Finland, the most important of
which were known as Birkarls, controlled the trade and even the taxing
on the area long into the 16th century. From the mid-16th century,
the area was more firmly tied to Sweden. An important sign of Swedish
control was the large Nederluleå stone church from 1492. Still today,
Finnish and Sami minorities live in
Norrbotten and they have kept
their culture and language.
Västerbotten was the denomination for northern Sweden,
together with the Lappland areas. The Eastern Botten or Ostrobothnia
was in the Finnish side.
Cultural identification in
Sweden is closely related to the historical
provinces, and the people in
Norrbotten live in this sense in Northern
Västerbotten, or Norra Västerbotten. In order not to be confused
with people from Southern Västerbotten, i.e. the coastal region of
Västerbotten County, they started to identify themselves with the
county rather than with the historical province.
Norrbotten had gradually become synonymous with the area that was
previously referred to as northern Västerbotten. It started to evolve
as a separate province. During the 20th century it got all of the
symbols (animals, flowers etc.) which are assigned to the other
provinces of Sweden. But there was still some resistance to the idea
Norrbotten being a province.
As recently as 1995, after decades of debate,
Norrbotten was granted a
coat of arms, thus at last being fully recognized as one of provinces
The coat of arms symbolizes the four large rivers in
drain into the Gulf of Bothnia: Torne River, Kalix River, Lule River
and Pite River.
The summers can bring surprisingly warm temperatures for such
northerly altitudes, and as a matter of fact,
Norrbotten holds the
all-time high record for the entire Norrland ; +37°C (98°F).
As of December 31, 2016, the population is 195,024, distributed
over 26,671 km2, which gives a density of 7.3 inhabitants/km2.
Norrbotten has around 8,000 ancient remains. Languages spoken in the
province include Swedish (including
North Swedish regiolects),
Meänkieli, Finnish, and Sami. Some
Meänkieli speakers have gradually
been considering themselves part of the Kven people, which supposedly
arrived to the area much earlier than the Swedish settlers.
The Church Village of
Luleå has been named a
UNESCO World heritage site.
Football in the province (and
Norrbotten County as a whole) is
administered by Norrbottens Fotbollförbund. Ice hockey is also
Luleå HF, and basketball with the BC
Luleå men's team
Luleå BBK women's team.
^ a b "Folkmängd i landskapen den 31 december 2016" (in Swedish).
Statistics Sweden. March 21, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
^ Vahtola, Jouko. Tornionlaakson historia I. Birkarlit,
'pirkkalaiset'. Malungs boktryckeri AB. Malung, Sweden. 1991.
North Bothnia flag A discussion on "what is North Bothnia"
Lands and Provinces of Sweden
Coordinates: 67°00′N 20°00′E / 67.000°N 20.000°E /