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   » » Wiki: Espoo
Tag Wiki 'Espoo'.

Espoo (; Esbo ) is the second largest city and municipality in . It is part of the , and most of its population lives in the inner of the Helsinki metropolitan area, along with the cities of , , and . Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the region of and has a population of .

Other bordering municipalities of Espoo are Nurmijärvi and in the north, and in the west. The national park of Nuuksio is situated in northwestern Espoo.

Espoo encompasses , of which is land.

Espoo does not have a traditional city center, having instead several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into seven major areas (suuralueet, storområden): (with ), , , , Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and .

is based in , 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 , , , , , , Orion Corporation, and , as well as video game developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment.

The city of Espoo is officially . The majority of the population, 83.6%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a minority of 8.3% speaks . 8% of Espoo's population has a other than Finnish or Swedish.

The name 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 , 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.

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 , with a sparse population. 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 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 , 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 , 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 from via and to .

In 1557, King decided to stabilize and develop the region by founding a royal mansion in Espoo. The government bought the villages of Espåby and (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 (), and collected royal tax in kind paid by labor on the mansion's farm. The administrative center has grown around the church and the Espoo railway station, but the municipality has retained a network-like structure to the modern day.

In 1920, 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. 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 Espoo have 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.


Espoo is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and in the region of 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 , the Finnish capital, which is to the east. Other neighbouring municipalities are to the east and northeast, Nurmijärvi to the north, to the northwest, and to the west and southwest. Espoo is a part of the Finnish Capital Region, which is the inner core of the metropolitan area.

Espoo is divided into seven major areas (suuralueet, storområden): (with ), , , , Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and . These major areas are then divided into a total of 56 districts.

Although 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 , 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 : Bånberget forests, Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in ), Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake, Nuuksio National Park (partially in Kirkkonummi and ), as well as forests in Vestra (partially in ).

The official animal of Espoo is the Siberian flying squirrel, the official bird is the , and the official plant is .

The population by citizenship in 2017 was 89.5% Finnish and 10.5% other nationalities. Religious affiliation was 53.6% Lutheran, 4.3% other, and 42.1% 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.

In 2017, there were 44,935 residents with a foreign background. The largest groups are from , and .[2]

6,660 (2.40%)
6,566 (2.36%)
2,792 (1.00%)
2,536 (0.91%)
2,392 (0.86%)
2,118 (0.76%)
1,813 (0.65%)
1,455 (0.52%)
1,191 (0.43%)
1,128 (0.41%)
899 (0.32%)
892 (0.32%)
865 (0.31%)
718 (0.26%)
702 (0.25%)
658 (0.24%)
645 (0.23%)
627 (0.23%)
578 (0.21%)
532 (0.19%)
528 (0.19%)
517 (0.19%)

Espoo hosts a Museum of Modern Art called EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art), built in a renovated old print house, the , named after an old book print company Weilin & Göös. The same building hosts also Finland's only Museum of (Kellomuseo, Urmuseum) and a Toy Museum. Glims Farmstead Museum is also located in the city. The Espoo cultural centre, home of the world-renowned Tapiola Sinfonietta, where numerous concerts and theater performances are held, is located in (Hagalund).

Espoo has several old manors of which two are open to the general public. The most important is (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 from 1777 is on the King's Road (Kuninkaantie, 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 . The manor hosts a restaurant and club rooms, partly with original furniture open to the public, but meant originally to sanatory and old people's home located on ground of the manor.

The Metal band 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 , a lake in northern Espoo, in 1960. The bands and also come from Espoo.

The educational department took part in Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in Finland.

At the 1952 Summer Olympics, the city's Westend Tennis Hall hosted the fencing events.

Espoo is home to several sports teams. were an ice hockey team which played at highest level 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 to replace Espoo Blues and United now play ice hockey at the second highest level . 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, Naisten korisliiga.

(also known as Esport Honka) is a football club that was promoted into the Finnish premier division ( ) 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 . The two teams are Esport Oilers and Westend Indians.

Espoo is the birthplace of 2007 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, former forward (three time NHL winner), former driver , professional downhill mountain biker , professional star and 2009 European Figure Skating Champion Laura Lepistö.

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 7, 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%
  • 14.6%
  • Social Democratic Party 14.4%
  • 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 .

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities
Espoo is twinned with:

Notable people

The most common surnames in Espoo and their frequencies as of 2014: Most common surnames in Espoo

See also
  • The UN's Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, signed in Espoo 1991 ( text of Convention)
  • Districts of Espoo
  • Pakankylä
  • Sello mall shooting
  • List of European regions by GDP



  • Espoon kaupungin taskutilasto 2007, issued by the City of Espoo, 2007

External links

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