Municipalities o Finland

The municipalities (Finnish: kunta; Swadish: kommun) represent the local level o admeenistration in Finland an act as the fundamental, sel-govrenin admeenistrative units o the kintra. The entire kintra is incorporatit intae municipalities an legally, aw municipalities are equal, awtho certaint municipalities are cried ceeties. Municipalities hae the richt tae levy a flat percentual income tax, which is atween 16 an 20 percent, an thay provide twa thirds o public services. Municipalities control mony community services, sic as schuils, heal care an the watter supply, an local streets. Thay dae no maintain heich-gates, set laws or keep polis forces — thir tasks are the responsibility o the central govrenment.

Govrenment an taxation


Municipalities hae council-manager government, i.e. thay are govrened bi an electit cooncil (kunnanvaltuusto, kommunfullmäktige), which is legally autonomous an answers anerlie tae the voters. The size o the cooncil is proportional tae the population, the extremes bein 9 in Sottunga an 85 in Helsinki. Municipal managers (kaupunginjohtaja, stadsdirektör for ceeties, kunnanjohtaja, kommunsdirektör for ither municipalities) are ceevil servants named bi the cooncil. The ceety manager o Helsinki is cried ylipormestari/överborgmästare "Laird Mayor" for historical reasons.

Thare wur previously nae mayors in Finland, but efter a chynge in law, Tampere wis first ceety tae elect a mayor (pormestari/borgmästare) in 2007. The mayor is no, housomeivver, currently electit directly, but bi the municipal cooncil. The mayor acts as municipal manager an as a speaker o the municipal cooncil.

The municipal tax is a flat income tax that is levied on lawer income levels than state taxes, which in contrast are progressive taxes. The lawest tax o 16% is foond in Kauniainen, while a 20% tax is in the anither extreme. Municipalities an aa receive fundin directly frae the state (valtionapu). Municipalities levy a property tax on property, which is comparatively law. It is heicher for simmer cottages or ither property intendit for leisur. Corporate tax cried yhteisövero, "community tax", is an aw a soorce o income. Some functions are fundit baith bi the municipality an the state, e.g. AMK schuils.

The municipal tax, awtho in principle a flat tax, is affectit bi deductions, sic that the real average tax percentage is lawer than the nominal rate. Municipal taxes are collectit bi the state (Verohallinto) an peyed tae the municipalities.

Awtho municipalities dae no hae polis or legislative pouers, local ordinances concernin traffeck can be set, an municipal pairkin inspectors can gie pairkin tickets. Municipalities are legal persons an can appear in an admeenistrative court. Likwise, the state o Finland is a separate legal person.



As o 2018, thare are 311 municipalities in Finland, o which 107 are ceeties. As o 2008, 19 municipalities wur unilingually Swadish (16 in the autonomous Åland an three in Ostrobothnie). 43 municipalities wur bilingual: 22 wi Swadish as the majority leid (aw but five in Ostrobothnie an Åboland) an 21 wi Finnish as the majority leid (aw but five in the historical province o Uusimaa).

Awtho thare are exceptions, the line atween a ceety an a smaw toun or rural municipality can be drawn at the ceety o Hamina wi 21,402 indwallers. In the population rankin, abuin Hamina thare are anerlie ceeties (an thair surroondin auries). Housomeivver, thare are mony ceties wi hintle smawer populations than Hamina. Finland's smawest ceety, Kaskinen, dates back tae 1785 but haed a population o anerlie 1,430 (31 Januar 2011).

The auries o the municipalities vary, as the population is the primary criterion for formin a municipality. The lairgest are foond in Lapland, o which the lairgest is Inari at 17,333.77 km² (130 km square). The smawest municipalities are vera smaw touns. Kaskinen is an independent toun wi the land aurie o anerile 10.49 km². Kauniainen, which wis oreeginally a corporation in Espoo, is anerlie 6.00 km².



Municipalities wur oreeginally pairishes. The auld wird for a municipality is pitäjä, 'keeper', acause whan the seestem wis institutit, ane municipality kept ane meenister. Furthermair, thare wis a seestem o tax auries, which wis no necessarily convergent. Furthermair, ceeties wur chairtered separately. Till 1977 municipalities wur dividit intae ceeties (kaupunki, stad), mercat touns (kauppala, köping) an rural municipalities (maalaiskunta, landskommun). The mercat touns wur abolished an renamed as ceeties. The rest o the municipalities wur classifeed as 'ither municipalities'. Aw municipalities cried maalaiskunta wur eventually aither merged tae thair parent ceeties or chyngit thair names. Frae 1995 onwards anerlie 'municipality' is recognised bi law an ony municipality is alloued tae caw itsel a ceety if it sae wishes.

Each municipality haes a destinct coat o airms. It is postit tae the borders an shawn in offeecial documents advertisin the municipality. An aw, municipalities mey hae a logo destinct frae a coat o airms.

Caipital region


Destinctively, the caipital aurie, or Greater Helsinki, haes nae special arrangements. The aurie consists o fower entirely independent ceeties that form a continuous conurbation. Greater Helsinki haes grown in population an aurie relatively quickly: the nearbi municipalities, considered rural anerlie 50 years ago, hae acome suburbs, an the growthe is projectit tae continue. A state-imposed merger o Helsinki an a pairt o Sipoo, a rural, 40% Swadish-speakin municipality adjacent tae Greater Helsinki, wis recently appruivit bi the govrenment, coonter tae the opinion o the Sipoo municipal cooncil. This aurie will effectively acome a new (an Finnish-speakin) suburb wi multiple times the indwallers than thare are in Sipoo.

Mergers an reform


Thare is currently a heatit poleetical debate in Finland aboot reformin the municipality seestem. Essentially, a lairge nummer o smaw municipalities is seen as detrimental tae the proveesion o public services, haein been oreeginatit frae a time whan horse an carriages wur uised frae transport, an thare hae been suggestions o state-imposed mergers. A committee led bi umwhile Meenister for Regional an Municipal Affairs Hannes Manninen (Kuntaliitto) favours a seestem whaur municipalities wad be units o at least 20,000–30,000 indwallers, cf. the current median at 4,700. The motion haes been inspired bi a seemilar reform in Denmark (see Municipalities o Denmark). Umwhile govrenment (Vanhanen II), housomeivver, planned tae no impose mergers.

Recently, a lairge nummer o voluntary mergers hae been agreed on.[1] 14 mergers wur completit in 2007 an ane in 2008. In 2009, thare wur even mair, an mony o thir mergers consolidatit mair nor twa municipalities. Several ceeties mergit wi surroondin rural municipalities in Hämeenlinna, Loviisa, Salo, Kouvola, Seinäjoki, Naantali, Kauhava, Lohja, Ekenäs, Jyväskylä an Oulu in 2009. In tot, thare war 30 mergers, involvin 92 municipalities, that reduce the nummer o municipalities bi 62. The year 2009 an aw merked the end o the last maalaiskunta, a municipality surroondin a ceety but sharin the name, in Jyväskylä.

Municipalities bi regions



See an aw



  1. Kuntaliitto. Ajankohtaiset kuntaliitokset, 2007.;29;348;4827;50631

Freemit airtins


  Media relatit tae Municipalities in Finland at Wikimedia Commons

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