Southwest Finland

Southwest Finland,[1] directly translated as Finland Proper (Finnish: Varsinais-Suomi; Swedish: Egentliga Finland), is a region in the Southwest of Finland. It borders the regions of Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), Uusimaa, and Åland. The region's capital and most populous city is Turku.

Southwest Finland

Varsinais-Suomen maakunta
landskapet Egentliga Finland

Coat of arms
Finland Proper on a map of Finland
CountryFinland
Historical provinceFinland Proper
CapitalTurku
Area
  Total10,910.05 km2 (4,212.39 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
  Total470,880
  Density43/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeFI-19
NUTS183
Regional animalRed fox
Regional birdWestern jackdaw
Regional fishBaltic herring
Regional flowerOak
Regional lakePyhäjärvi
Websitevarsinais-suomi.fi

The area comprising the Southwest is largely the same as the historical province of Finland Proper, so named because it is the original home of the tribe known as the Finns.

Origin of the name Finland Proper

The name of Finland Proper has a historical function. In historic times, in the area of the present Southern Finland lived three tribes, which were the Finns, the Tavastians and the Karelians. The southwestern part of the country, the province where the Finns lived, was called simply Finland (Finnish: Suomi). In the 17th century the name began to be used to refer to the whole land and a specified name for the lesser Finland was required. The first notes Fennigia specialiter dicta and Fennigia presse dicta were recorded in Latin in the 1650s and the Swedish Finland för sig sielft and Egenteliga Finland later in the 18th century the modern form Egentliga Finland being in official use at the end of the century. The Finnish term Varsinais-Suomi became established only around the 1850s.[2]

Geography

Southwest Finland's nature differs from other regions. The most notable biotopes are the Archipelago Sea and groves. 80% of Finland's insect species can be found in Southwest Finland.[3] There are around 20,000 islands near the coast.[4]

The southernmost point of Southwest Finland and the southernmost inhabited island is Utö.[5] Highest point is 164 meters in Kiikala.[6]

Historical provinces

Municipalities

The region of Southwest Finland is made up of 27 municipalities, of which 11 have city status (marked in bold).

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1980406,360    
1985415,899+2.3%
1990425,282+2.3%
1995435,119+2.3%
2000447,103+2.8%
2005455,584+1.9%
2010465,183+2.1%
2015474,323+2.0%
2018478,582+0.9%
Source: Statistics Finland

As of 2018, Southwest Finland had an population of 478,582, making it the third most populated Finnish region after Uusimaa and Pirkanmaa. 87.18% speak Finnish, 5.67% Swedish and 7.15% speak other languages, the most common being Russian, Estonian, Arabic, Kurdish and Albanian.

It has the most summer cottages out of any Finnish region, with 49,000 as of 2012.[8]

Nationality [9]
31 December 2017
1 Finland444,171
2 Soviet Union5,801
3 Estonia4,079
4 Iraq3,148
5 Sweden2,746
6 Yugoslavia2,714
7 Iran1,855
8 Somalia1,590
9 Vietnam938
10 Thailand874
11 Poland842
12 Ukraine834
13 China774
14 Afghanistan679
15 Romania679
16 Germany511
17 United Kingdom436
18 Turkey428
19 Syria425
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina394

Politics

Results of the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election in Southwest Finland:

Heraldry

The region uses the coat of arms of the historical province of Finland Proper.

Notes

Finland Proper travel guide from Wikivoyage

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