Greater Helsinki

Greater Helsinki (Finnish: Helsingin seutu, Suur-Helsinki, Swedish: Helsingforsregionen, Storhelsingfors) is the metropolitan area surrounding Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. It includes the smaller Capital Region (Pääkaupunkiseutu, Huvudstadsregionen) urban area.

Greater Helsinki

Helsingin seutu Helsingforsregionen
Metropolitan area
  Land3,697.52 km2 (1,427.62 sq mi)
  Capital Region770.26 km2 (297.40 sq mi)
  Density404.4/km2 (1,047/sq mi)
  Capital Region

The smaller Capital Region consists of the central cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, and Kauniainen and has a population of approximately 1.17 million. The Greater Helsinki region is the largest urbanised area in the country with 1,495,271[1] inhabitants and is by far the most important economic, cultural, and scientific region of Finland. Five out of Finland's 15 universities[note 1] and most of the headquarters of notable companies and governmental institutions are located in Greater Helsinki, as is Finland's main airline hub and airport, Helsinki Airport, which is located in Vantaa.

These regions are located in the south of Finland, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, which is part of the Baltic Sea. They area a part of the region of Uusimaa.

The term "Helsinki Metropolitan Area" and the other terms used are not firmly established and may vary in different contexts. Greater Helsinki is sometimes incorrectly called (the) Helsinki Region due to an incorrect direct translation of the Finnish and Swedish terms Helsingin seutu and Helsingforsregionen.


Capital Region

In the strictest sense, the Finnish Capital Region consists of four municipalities with city status, Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen, whose total population is about 1.1 million (2014). This area is most often called the Capital region in English, Pääkaupunkiseutu in Finnish, and Huvudstadsregionen in Swedish, although the use of the terms is not especially consistent. The vast majority of the inhabitants live in the urban areas of the cities, but within the boundaries of these cities there are also suburban and rural areas.

Greater Helsinki

Commonly about ten more municipalities are considered to be part of Greater Helsinki, as they can be considered to be commuter towns and exurbs of Helsinki. When Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Tuusula, Mäntsälä, Pornainen and Vihti are included, the number of inhabitants rises to 1.4 million. All of the municipalities belong to the region of Uusimaa. Of these, Järvenpää, Kerava, Tuusula, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä and Vihti have parts of the urban area within them. Additionally, the cities of Porvoo, Lohja, and to some extent Riihimäki, which have very close ties, motorway and (in the case of Riihimäki) commuter train accesses, and are fairly close to the capital, are nowadays often included in regional planning, which raises the total population to about 1,550,000.

Other definitions

As a part of the "Urban audit" project, Eurostat has attempted to standardise the concept of a 'metropolitan area'. According to this study the Metropolitan area of Helsinki consists of the kernel of Helsinki: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. The Helsinki Larger Urban Area (Helsingin seutu in Finnish) consists of 12 cities and municipalities: the kernel of Helsinki and the aforementioned eight municipalities.[2]

Statistics Finland define the commuter belt of Helsinki (Helsingin työssäkäyntialue, Helsingfors pendlingsområde) to include a total of 24 municipalities, with a land area of 7,359.80 km2 and a population of 1,431,108 as of 31 December 2007.[3][4] In addition to that, there are people from as far as Lahti and even Tampere commuting to Helsinki daily.

Statistics Finland also defines the Helsinki urban area according to the official Finnish definion of an urban area (taajama in Finnish). Urban areas in Finland are defined as inhabited areas of at least 200 people with a maximum distance of 200 metres (660 ft) between buildings.[5][6] The Helsinki urban area is the largest of its kind in Finland, and encompasses land throughout Greater Helsinki, with notable gaps around forests and other less-densely populated areas.


The table below lists population, area, and population density for the largest municipalities of the Greater Helsinki area. (Note that "Helsinki Metropolitan Area" and the other terms used are not firmly established and may vary in different contexts.) The commuter towns of Lohja and Porvoo are not usually included, though, if they were (considering their proximity to Helsinki and their high commuting rate), they would raise the overall population above 1.5 million people.

Municipality Area Population
Population density
Helsinki213.75 km²650,0583,041.21/km²
Espoo312.26 km²284,444910.92/km²
Vantaa238.37 km²228,678959.34/km²
Kauniainen5.88 km²9,5591,625.68/km²
Urban area (Capital region) 770.26 km² 1,172,739 1,522.52/km²
Hyvinkää322.62 km²46,537144.25/km²
Mäntsälä580.84 km²20,68135.61/km²
Pornainen146.50 km²5,06434.57/km²
Järvenpää37.55 km²43,4501,157.12/km²
Kerava30.62 km²36,2921,185.24/km²
Kirkkonummi366.10 km²39,291107.32/km²
Nurmijärvi361.84 km²42,709118.03/km²
Sipoo339.62 km²20,67560.88/km²
Tuusula219.51 km²38,609175.89/km²
Vihti522.06 km²29,22455.98/km²
Commuter towns 2,927.26 km² 322,532 110.18/km²
Metropolitan area (Greater Helsinki) 3,697.52 km² 1,495,271 404.4/km²

See also



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