Finland comprises 19 regions called maakunta in Finnish and landskap in Swedish. The regions are governed by regional councils, which serve as forums of cooperation for the municipalities of a region. The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition, the public health services are usually organized on the basis of regions. Currently, the only region where a popular election is held for the council is Kainuu. Other regional councils are elected by municipal councils, each municipality sending representatives in proportion to its population.

In addition to inter-municipal cooperation, which is the responsibility of regional councils, there are 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Finnish: elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus, abbreviated ely-keskus), which is responsible for the local administration of labour, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and entrepreneurial affairs. They are each responsible for one or more of regions of Finland, and include offices of the Ministries of Employment and the Economy, Transport and Communications and Environment. The Finnish Defence Forces regional offices are responsible for the regional defence preparations and for the administration of conscription within the region.

Regions represent dialectal, cultural and economic variations better than the former provinces, which were purely administrative divisions of the central government. Historically, regions are divisions of historical provinces of Finland, areas which represent dialects and culture more accurately[citation needed].


Current Regions in Finland (locations).png

Number Coat of Arms English name Finnish name Swedish name Capital Area (km2) Population
(31 Dec 2017)[1]
1. Lapland Lapland Lappi Lappland Rovaniemi 92,674 180,207
2. North Ostrobothnia Northern Ostrobothnia Pohjois-Pohjanmaa Norra Österbotten Oulu 36,815 411,150
3. Kainuu Kainuu Kainuu Kajanaland Kajaani 20,197 74,803
4. North Karelia North Karelia Pohjois-Karjala Norra Karelen Joensuu 17,761 164,085
5. North Savonia Northern Savonia Pohjois-Savo Norra Savolax Kuopio 16,768 247,776
6. South Savonia Southern Savonia Etelä-Savo Södra Savolax Mikkeli 14,257 148,975
7. South Ostrobothnia Southern Ostrobothnia Etelä-Pohjanmaa Södra Österbotten Seinäjoki 13,444 191,860
8. Central Ostrobothnia Central Ostrobothnia Keski-Pohjanmaa Mellersta Österbotten Kokkola 5,020 69,027
9. Ostrobothnia Ostrobothnia Pohjanmaa Österbotten Vaasa 7,753 181,441
10. Pirkanmaa Pirkanmaa Pirkanmaa Birkaland Tampere 12,585 509,356
11. Central Finland Central Finland Keski-Suomi Mellersta Finland Jyväskylä 16,703 276,196
12. Satakunta Satakunta Satakunta Satakunta Pori 7,820 221,740
13. Southwest Finland Southwest Finland Varsinais-Suomi Egentliga Finland Turku 10,663 475,543
14. South Karelia South Karelia Etelä-Karjala Södra Karelen Lappeenranta 5,327 130,506
15. Päijät-Häme Päijänne Tavastia Päijät-Häme Päijänne-Tavastland Lahti 5,125 201,685
16. Kanta-Häme Tavastia Proper Kanta-Häme Egentliga Tavastland Hämeenlinna 5,199 173,781
17. Uusimaa Uusimaa Uusimaa Nyland Helsinki 9,097 1,638,293
18. Kymenlaakso Kymenlaakso Kymenlaakso Kymmenedalen Kotka, Kouvola 5,149 177,659
19. Åland Åland Islands[2] Ahvenanmaa Åland Mariehamn 1,553 29,214

Former regions

Regions in Finland (old map before 2011).png

Number Coat of Arms English name Finnish name Swedish name Capital Dissolution (date)
20 Itä-Uusimaa.vaakuna.svg Eastern Uusimaa[2] Itä-Uusimaa.[3] Östra Nyland Porvoo January 1, 2011

See also


  1. ^ Tilastokeskus. "Population". www.stat.fi. 
  2. ^ a b The role that the regional councils serve on Mainland Finland are, in Åland, handled by the autonomous Government of Åland.
  3. ^ "Valtioneuvosto päätti Uudenmaan ja Itä-Uudenmaan maakuntien yhdistämisestä" (in Finnish). Ministry of Finance. October 22, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 

External links