Finland is divided into 19 regions (Finnish: maakunta; Swedish: landskap)[a] The regions are governed by regional councils, which serve as forums of cooperation for the municipalities of a region. The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition, the public health services are usually organized on the basis of regions. Between 2004 and 2012, the only region where a popular elections for the council were held was Kainuu as part of an experimental regional administration. Currently the regional councils are elected by municipal councils, each municipality sending representatives in proportion to its population. The Government of Finland is in the process of establishing elected regional councils by 2022 through a health and social services reform. In the process the official English name for the administrative unit will be changed from region to county, while the Finnish and Swedish names will be kept intact.
One region, Åland, has a special status and has a much higher degree of autonomy than the others, with its own Parliament and local laws, due to its unique history and the fact that the overwhelming majority of its people are Finland Swedes. The sole language of Åland is Swedish/Finland Swedish, unlike the rest of the country where Finnish and Swedish share official status. It has its own elected head of government who carries the title of Premier and heads the Lantrad, the regional executive. Most powers that would be exercised by the Government of Finland on the mainland are instead exercised by Åland-specific authorities which execute independent policy in most areas. The Åland islanders elect a single representative to the national legislature, while the Government of Finland appoints a Governor to represent the national government on Åland. Åland is a demilitarised zone and Åland islanders are exempt from conscription.
Representation of the state
In addition to inter-municipal cooperation, which is the responsibility of regional councils, there are 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Finnish: elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus, abbreviated ely-keskus), which is responsible for the local administration of labour, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and entrepreneurial affairs. They are each responsible for one or more of regions of Finland, and include offices of the Ministries of Employment and the Economy, Transport and Communications and Environment. The Finnish Defence Forces regional offices are responsible for the regional defence preparations and for the administration of conscription within the region.
List of regions
|Flag||Coat of arms||Name||Official English name||Finnish name||Swedish name||Capital||Area (km2)||Population|
(31 Dec 2019)
|–||North Ostrobothnia||North Ostrobothnia||Pohjois-Pohjanmaa||Norra Österbotten||Oulu||36,815||412,830|
|North Karelia||North Karelia||Pohjois-Karjala||Norra Karelen||Joensuu||17,761||161,211|
|Northern Savonia||North Savo||Pohjois-Savo||Norra Savolax||Kuopio||16,768||244,236|
|Southern Savonia||South Savo||Etelä-Savo||Södra Savolax||Mikkeli||14,257||142,335|
|–||South Karelia||South Karelia||Etelä-Karjala||Södra Karelen||Lappeenranta||5,327||127,757|
|Central Finland||Central Finland||Keski-Suomi||Mellersta Finland||Jyväskylä||16,703||275,104|
|South Ostrobothnia||South Ostrobothnia||Etelä-Pohjanmaa||Södra Österbotten||Seinäjoki||13,444||188,685|
|Central Ostrobothnia||Central Ostrobothnia||Keski-Pohjanmaa||Mellersta Österbotten||Kokkola||5,020||68,158|
|–||Southwest Finland||Southwest Finland||Varsinais-Suomi||Egentliga Finland||Turku||10,663||479,341|
|Number||Coat of Arms||Name||Official English name||Finnish name||Swedish name||Capital||Dissolution (date)|
|20||Eastern Uusimaa||Itä-Uusimaa||Itä-Uusimaa||Östra Nyland||Porvoo||January 1, 2011|
- Municipalities of Lapland
- Regions of Northern Finland
- Regions of Eastern Finland
- Regions of Western and Central Finland
- Regions of South-Western Finland
- Regions of Southern Finland
- Municipalities of Åland
- County Councils of Sweden
- Household pennants of Finland
- ISO 3166-2:FI
- Regional State Administrative Agency
- List of Finnish regions by GDP
- "Sátnegirjjit, dictionaries of Finnish, Swedish, the Sami languages, English and Russian". dicts.uit.no. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- "Historiallinen maakuntahallinto opetti valtiota". Yle uutiset. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
- "Health and social services reform". Finnish Government. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
- "Government amends its draft proposal on health and social services reform in response to comments received". sote.fi. Finnish Government. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
- "Suomen hallintorakenteeseen ja maakuntauudistukseen liittyviä termejä sekä maakuntien ja kuntien nimet fi-sv-en-(ru)" (PDF). vnk.fi. p. 8–9. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
- Tilastokeskus. "Population". www.stat.fi.
- The role that the regional councils serve on Mainland Finland are, in Åland, handled by the autonomous Government of Åland.
- "Regions of Finland 2010". Statistics Finland. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- "Valtioneuvosto päätti Uudenmaan ja Itä-Uudenmaan maakuntien yhdistämisestä" (in Finnish). Ministry of Finance. October 22, 2009. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
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