Socken is the name used for a part of a county in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A socken is an area that was previously like a civil parish or a administrative parish. A socken was formerly linked to a parish but is now a traditional area with other borders than the original parishes. In some parts of Sweden the use of "socken" as a way to describe an area is more prominent than in others. A socken may also have the same name as a locality or parish.


Socken, in old Swedish sokn, Danish or bokmål sogn, nynorsk sokn, is an archaic name for the original country church parishes, kyrksocken. It also describes a secular area, a sockenkommun ("rural area locality") or a taxation area, a jordbokssocken.[1][2] In the Nordic countries a socken was an administrative area consisting of several villages or localities in much the same way as the civil parishes in England, but the concept is not used in reference to towns. A socken had a socken church, it was governed by a socken council and it was the predecessor to modern municipalities[3][4]

In 1862, the kyrksockens ("church socken") and the sockenkommuns ("rural area locality") in Sweden were abolished as administrative areas during municipality reforms. The jordbrukssocken ("taxation area") remained in use until the Fastighetsdatareformen ("Reform for registration of real property") 1976–1995 was complete.[5] No further alterations to the sockens was made after this.

On 1 January 2016, a new administrative division and area for statistics, registration districts or simply districts, was introduced in Sweden. Geographically, the districts correspond with the parishes of the Church of Sweden as of 31 December 1999. About 85% of the old sockens corresponds with the new districts.[6][7][8]

Even though the term socken is no longer used administratively in Sweden, it is still used for cataloging and registering historical archives (Swedish National Heritage Board), botany, dialect research, toponymy and by local historical societies. Socken is a convenient parameter for these purposes since it does not change with time.[9]

Lists of sockens

Skåne, one place where socken is in use.
Gotland, one place where socken is in use.
Dalarna, one place where socken is in use.

See also


  1. ^ Svenska akademiens ordlista över svenska språket. Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi, 0065-0897 ; 57Studier till en svensk ortnamnsatlas, 99-0382294-4 ; 14 (in Swedish) (12 uppl. ed.). Stockholm: Nordstedts ordbok. 1998. p. 876. ISBN 91-7227-032-2. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Brink, Stefan (1990). Sockenbildning och sockennamn : studier i äldre territoriell indelning i Norden = Parish-formation and parish-names : studies in early territorial division in Scandinavia. Uppsala: Gustav Adolfs akad. ISBN 91-85352-17-9. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Svenska akademins ordbok". www.saob.se. Svenska Akademin. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Brink, Stefan (1991). Olle Ferm, ed. "Sockenbildningen i Sverige". Kyrka och socken i medeltidens Sverige / av Roger Andersson. Studier till Det medeltida Sverige, 0347-7495 ; 5: 113–142. ISBN 91-7192-825-1. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Förordning (1983:594) om genomförande av fastighetsdatareformen". www.riksdagen.se. Justitiedepartementet F2. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Distriktsindelning i folkbokföringen". Swedish National Heritage Board. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "SFS 2015:493 Förordning om district" (PDF). Swedish Code of Statutes. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Nya folkbokföringsdistrikt" (PDF). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-23.  In: Lantmäteriet 2014. Lantmäteriet. accessdate=23 May 2016.
  9. ^ Förteckning över städer och socknar. D. 1, Alfabetisk och efter sockennummer (2., [rev,] uppl. ed.). Stockholm: Riksantikvarieämbetet. 1999. ISBN 91-7209-149-5. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 

Further reading

  • Litzen, veikko (1977). "Om socken". Historisk tidskrift för Finland. Helsingfors: 331–335. 

External links