Houtskär

Houtskär (Finland Swedish: [ˈhuːtɕæːr] (listen); Finnish: Houtskari [ˈhou̯tskɑri]) is an island group and former municipality of Finland. On 1 January 2009, it was consolidated with Iniö, Korpo, Nagu and Pargas to form the municipality of Pargas (briefly named Väståboland).

Houtskär

HoutskärHoutskari
Former municipality
Houtskärs kommun
Houtskarin kunta
Boathouses in Hyppeis

Coat of arms
Location of Houtskär in Finland
Coordinates: 60°13′20″N 021°22′20″E
CountryFinland
RegionSouthwest Finland
Sub-regionÅboland
Consolidated2009
Area
  Total566.81 km2 (218.85 sq mi)
  Land119.93 km2 (46.31 sq mi)
  Water446.88 km2 (172.54 sq mi)
Population
 (2008-12-31)[2]
  Total621
  Density1.1/km2 (2.8/sq mi)
Population by native language
  Finnish14% (official)
  Swedish86% (official)
Population by age
 (2007)
  0 to 1414.8%
  15 to 6460.3%
  65 or older24.8%
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

It is located in the Archipelago Sea in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southwest Finland region. The municipality had a population of 621 (as of 31 December 2008)[2] and covered a land area of 119.93 square kilometres (46.31 sq mi).[1] The population density was 5.18 inhabitants per square kilometre (13.4/sq mi).

The municipality was bilingual with the majority (86%) being Swedish and minority Finnish speakers.

There are three stores in Houtskär, a bank and post office, and the church of Santa Maria in Näsby center. At various times throughout the year dances, accompanied by live music, are held which are an old tradition kept alive by both older and younger participants who dance in a variety of styles.

Houtskär consists of a group of bigger islands and many smaller islands in the surrounding sea area. Communications to the mainland is by the ”Archipelago road” through Pargas, Nagu and Korpo, with three ferries considered part of the road network, the trip with the last one from Korpo to Houtskär lasting half an hour. The main islands are connected by bridges or cable ferries, the outer inhabited islands usually have daily connections with ship-like ferries.

Notes

  1. "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2008" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  2. "Population by municipality as of 31 December 2008". Population Information System (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 27 March 2010.

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