It is located in Northern Savonia region. The municipality has a population of 3,963 (31 January 2019) and covers an area of 1,576.78 square kilometres (608.80 sq mi) of which 110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi) is water. The population density is 2.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (7.0/sq mi).
Coat of arms
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
|Coordinates: 63°40′N 27°31′E|
|• Municipal manager||Simo Mäkinen|
|• Total||1,576.78 km2 (608.80 sq mi)|
|• Land||1,465.91 km2 (565.99 sq mi)|
|• Water||110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi)|
|Area rank||44th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||196th largest in Finland|
|• Density||2.7/km2 (7/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||99.6% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||14.1%|
|• 15 to 64||62.7%|
|• 65 or older||23.1%|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||19.75%|
The municipality is unilingually Finnish.
The municipality was founded in 1922. Before it Sonkajärvi was a part of Iisalmen maalaiskunta.
Wife carrying competition
Sonkajärvi has gained a worldwide fame for Wife Carrying (Finnish: akankanto or eukonkanto) which is an alternative sport of carrying women. The first Wife Carrying World Championship dates to 1994, but the creation of the contest, apart from its humorous aspects, has deep roots in the local history. In the late 19th century there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in his troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.
In the Wife Carrying competition each team has one male and one female member, the objective being for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track. The basic rules are that the woman must be over 17 years of age and have a weight of at least 49 kilograms (108 lb). If she is below that weight, she must be burdened with such a heavy rucksack so that the total weight to be carried by the man is at least 49 kilograms. The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier. The track in Sonkanjärvi used annually for the World Championship is exactly 253.5 metres (832 ft) long.
Unique nature sights
There are unique nature sights in the municipality of Sonkajärvi, for example the northernmost in Finland reliably confirmed habitats of wild Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) in the vicinity of the lake of Kangaslampi, 63° 45′ N and near the hill of Salmisenmäki, 63° 43′ 42" N.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Väike-Maarja Parish, Estonia (since 1997)
Well known people from Sonkajärvi
- Päivi Räsänen, politician
- "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Suomen virallinen tilasto (SVT): Väestön ennakkotilasto [verkkojulkaisu]. Tammikuu 2019" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Jarviwiki Sonkajärvi. Retrieved 2014-03-05. (in English)
- Ylä-Savon Instituutti - Sonkajärven luonto. (in Finnish) (PDF).
- NatureGate: Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) (in English)
- Helsingin yliopisto. Kasviatlas. Suomen putkilokasvien levinneisyyskartasto. Metsälehmus (Tilia cordata) (in Finnish)
- "Sõprusvallad" (in Estonian). Väike-Maarja vald. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- Municipality of Sonkajärvi – Official site (in Finnish)