Espoo (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈespoː]; Swedish: Esbo [ˈɛsːbɔ]) is the second largest city and municipality in Finland. It is part of the Finnish Capital Region, and most of its population lives in the inner urban core of the Helsinki metropolitan area, along with the cities of Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. The city is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the region of Uusimaa and has a population of 281,886.
Espoo encompasses 528 square kilometres (204 sq mi), of which 312 km2 (120 sq mi) is land.
Espoo does not have a traditional city center, having instead several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden): Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola.
Aalto University is based in Otaniemi, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Several major companies are based in Espoo, including Nokia, HMD Global, Tieto, KONE, Neste, Fortum, Orion Corporation, and Outokumpu, as well as video game developers Rovio and Remedy Entertainment.
The city of Espoo is officially bilingual. The majority of the population, 83.6%, speaks Finnish as their mother tongue, while a minority of 8.3% speaks Swedish. 8% of Espoo's population has a first language other than Finnish or Swedish.
Location within Finland
Location within Europe
|• City manager||Jukka Mäkelä|
|• Total||528.03 km2 (203.87 sq mi)|
|• Land||312.26 km2 (120.56 sq mi)|
|• Water||215.88 km2 (83.35 sq mi)|
|Area rank||230th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||2nd largest in Finland|
|• Density||902.73/km2 (2,338.1/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Finnish||83.6% (official)|
|• Swedish||8.3% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||19.7%|
|• 15 to 64||69.8%|
|• 65 or older||10.5%|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||17.75%|
The name Espoo probably comes from the Swedish name for the River Espoo, Espå (or Espåå), which in turn comes from the old Swedish word äspe, meaning a border of aspen, and the Swedish word for "river", å, thus "a river bordered by aspen". The name was first mentioned in 1431. The banks of the River Espoo are even today heavily populated with aspen.
The first inhabitants in the area arrived about 9,000 years ago. Physical evidence (pollen grains) indicates agriculture from ca. 1000 AD, but there are no historical records. Up to the 13th century, the area was a borderland between the hunting grounds of Finnish Proper and Tavastian Finns, with a sparse population. Immigrants from Sweden established permanent agricultural settlements to the area from late 13th century onwards after the so-called Second Crusade to Finland. Espoo was a subdivision of the Kirkkonummi congregation until 1486-7. The oldest known document referring to Kirkkonummi is from 1330; Espoo as a subchapter has been dated to the 1380s, although the first document directly referring to Espoo is from as late as 1431. The construction of the Espoo Cathedral, the oldest preserved building in Espoo, marks the independence of Espoo. Administratively, Espoo was a part of Uusimaa. When the province was split to Eastern and Western provinces governed from the Porvoo and Raasepori castles, respectively, the eastern border of the Raasepori province was in Espoo. The 13th century road connecting the most important cities in Finland at that time, the King's Road, passes through Espoo on its way from Stockholm via Turku and Porvoo to Viipuri.
In 1557, King Gustaf Wasa decided to stabilize and develop the region by founding a royal mansion in Espoo. The government bought the villages of Espåby and Mankby (Finnish: Mankki) and transferred the population elsewhere, and built the royal mansion in Espåby. (Mankby was eventually abandoned and was never repopulated.) The royal mansion housed the king's local plenipotentiary (vogt), and collected royal tax in kind paid by labor on the mansion's farm. The administrative center Espoon keskus has grown around the church and the Espoo railway station, but the municipality has retained a network-like structure to the modern day.
In 1920, Espoo was only a rural municipality of about 9,000 inhabitants, of whom 70% were Swedish speaking. Agriculture was the primary source of income, with 75% of the population making their living from farming. Kauniainen was separated from Espoo in 1920, and it gained city rights the same year as Espoo, in 1972.
Espoo started to grow rapidly in the 1940s and '50s. It quickly developed from a rural municipality into a fully-fledged industrial city, gaining city rights in 1972. Due to its proximity to Helsinki, Espoo soon became popular amongst people working in the capital. In the fifty years from 1950 to 2000, the population of Espoo grew from 22,000 to 210,000. Since 1945, the majority of people in Espoo have been Finnish speaking. In 2006, the Swedish speaking inhabitants represented barely 9% of the total population. The population growth is still continuing, but at a slower rate.
Espoo is located in southern Finland, along the shore of the Gulf of Finland, and in the region of Uusimaa and the Helsinki sub-region. Prior to the abolition of Finnish provinces in 2009, Espoo was a part of the Southern Finland Province.
The city borders Helsinki, the Finnish capital, which is to the east. Other neighbouring municipalities are Vantaa to the east and northeast, Nurmijärvi to the north, Vihti to the northwest, and Kirkkonummi to the west and southwest. Espoo is a part of the Finnish Capital Region, which is the inner core of the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area.
Espoo is divided into seven major areas (Finnish: suuralueet, Swedish: storområden): Vanha-Espoo (with administrative center), Suur-Espoonlahti, Pohjois-Espoo, Suur-Kauklahti, Suur-Leppävaara, Suur-Matinkylä, and Suur-Tapiola. These major areas are then divided into a total of 56 districts.
Although Espoo is relatively highly populated, it has large amounts of natural wilderness, particularly in the city's western and northern portions. The city has a total of 71 lakes, the largest of which are Lake Bodom, Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi, Vanhankylän Pitkäjärvi, Loojärvi, Velskolan Pitkäjärvi, Saarijärvi, Matalajärvi, Siikajärvi, and Lippajärvi. The city has a large coastline on the Gulf of Finland.
Espoo has six Natura 2000 protected areas: Bånberget forests, Espoonlahti–Saunalahti bay area (partially in Kirkkonummi), Laajalahti bay, Matalajärvi lake, Nuuksio National Park (partially in Kirkkonummi and Vihti), as well as forests in Vestra (partially in Vantaa).
|Historical population of Espoo|
|Population by grand district (in 2006)|
The population by citizenship in 2017 was 89.5% Finnish and 10.5% other nationalities. Religious affiliation was 53.6% Lutheran, 4.3% other, and 42.1% no religious affiliation.
Espoo contains many high income suburbs, and six out of the ten highest average income postal code areas in Finland are in Espoo.
|Population by mother tongue|
|People with a foreign background|
|County of origin||Population (2017)|
|United Kingdom||718 (0.26%)|
|United States||658 (0.24%)|
|Serbia and Montenegro||645 (0.23%)|
Espoo hosts a Museum of Modern Art called EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art), built in a renovated old print house, the WeeGee house, named after an old book print company Weilin & Göös. The same building hosts also Finland's only Museum of Horology (Finnish: Kellomuseo, Swedish: Urmuseum) and a Toy Museum. Glims Farmstead Museum is also located in the city. The Espoo cultural centre, home of the world-renowned Tapiola Sinfonietta, where numerous concerts and theater performances are held, is located in Tapiola (Swedish: Hagalund).
Espoo has several old manors of which two are open to the general public. The most important is Espoon kartano (Swedish: Esbo gård, Espoo Manor), first mentioned in maps in 1495, and belonging to the noble Ramsay family since 1756. The current main building dates back to 1914, but a mill dates from the 1750s and Finland oldest walved stone bridge from 1777 is on the King's Road (Finnish: Kuninkaantie, Swedish: Kungsvägen) which passes by the manor. The main building can be rented for weddings and similar occasions. Guided tours are available on request for groups. The other manor open to public is Pakankylän kartano, located on the northern shore of Lake Bodom. The manor hosts a restaurant and club rooms, partly with original furniture open to the public, but meant originally to Kaisankoti sanatory and old people's home located on ground of the manor.
The Metal band Children of Bodom comes from Espoo, Finland. They are named after the unsolved murder known as the Lake Bodom murders which took place at the shore of Lake Bodom, a lake in northern Espoo, in 1960. The bands Norther and Kiuas also come from Espoo.
The educational department took part in Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in Finland.
Espoo is home to several sports teams. Espoo Blues were an ice hockey team which played at highest level SM-liiga between 1998 and 2016 before the team went bankrupt. Between 1984 and 1998 the team was known as Kiekko-Espoo. A new team called Espoo United was established to replace Espoo Blues and United now play ice hockey at the second highest level Mestis. The Espoo United women's hockey team play at the highest level, women's SM-liiga. Espoo United are also active in basketball and the male basketball team play at the second highest level and the women's basketball team play at the highest level, Naisten korisliiga.
FC Honka (also known as Esport Honka) is a football club that was promoted into the Finnish premier division (Veikkausliiga) for the first time in its history at the end of the 2005 season. Honka currently plays at the second highest level Ykkönen. They play their home matches at Tapiolan urheilupuisto. Espoo also has two floorball teams playing at highest level Salibandyliiga. The two teams are Esport Oilers and Westend Indians.
Espoo is the birthplace of 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, former Dallas Stars forward Jere Lehtinen (three time NHL Selke Trophy winner), former Formula One driver JJ Lehto, professional downhill mountain biker Matti Lehikoinen, professional ten-pin bowling star Osku Palermaa and 2009 European Figure Skating Champion Laura Lepistö.
Espoo's city council has 75 members. Following the municipal election of 2017 the council seats are allocated in the following way: National Coalition Party 26 seats, Greens 17, Social Democrats 10, True Finns 7, Swedish People's Party 6, Centre Party 3, Left Alliance 3, Christian Democrats 2 and Liberal Party 1.
Espoo is the home for True Finns chairman Timo Soini.
The 1992 LEN European Sprint Swimming Championships were the second edition of what later became the European Short Course Championships. It was held in Espoo, Finland from 21–22 December 1991, and was organised by the Ligue Européenne de Natation. Only the 50 m events and the 100 m individual medley were at stake.2018 CS Finlandia Trophy
The 2018 CS Finlandia Trophy was be held in October 2018 in Espoo, Finland. It is part of the 2018–19 ISU Challenger Series. Medals were awarded in the disciplines of men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing.Antti Kasvio
Antti Alexander Kasvio (born 20 December 1973 in Espoo) is a former freestyle swimmer from Finland who won the bronze medal in the 200 m freestyle at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Together with Jani Sievinen he was Finland's leading swimmer in the 1990s.
At the 1993 European Swimming Championships (long course) in Sheffield, Kasvio won the 200 and the 400 m freestyle. A year later, at the 1994 World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italy, he won the world title in the 200 m freestyle and captured the silver medal in the 400 m freestyle.Districts of Espoo
This is an alphabetical list of the fifty districts of Espoo. Swedish names are given in parentheses.
Espoon keskus (Esbo centrum)
Pohjois-Tapiola (Norra Hagalund)
Suurpelto (Storängen; to be constructed)
Vanha-Nuuksio (Gamla Noux)
The Espoo Blues were an ice hockey team in the SM-liiga. They played in Espoo, Finland, at the Espoo Metro Areena. The club went bankrupt at the end of the 2015–16 Liiga season.Espoo Metro Areena
Espoo Metro Areena (known from 1999 to January 2009 as LänsiAuto Areena, and from 2009 to October 2015 as Barona Areena) is an arena in Espoo, Finland, located by the ice rink and the fair center, in Tapiola. It was opened in 1999 and holds 6,982 people for ice-hockey games or 8,582 for concerts. Its sponsor is Finland's largest chain of fast food hamburger outlets and restaurants, Hesburger OY.
Primarily used for ice hockey, it is the home arena of the Espoo Blues, one of the Finnish Championship League's fourteen teams.Espoon Honka
Espoon Honka, also known as Honka Playboys, was a basketball club based in Espoo, Finland and it played in Korisliiga. The club was dissolved in 2011 due to financial difficulties.FC Espoo
FC Espoo is a Finnish football (soccer) club based in the city of Espoo, Finland. Founded in 1989, the first team plays in the Finnish Second Division (Kakkonen), the third tier of the Finnish football pyramid.
The first team of FC Espoo plays its home games at Leppävaaran stadion in the district Leppävaara in the Greater Helsinki region.FC Honka
FC Honka (also known as Esport Honka) is a Finnish football club, based in Espoo. It was promoted into the Finnish premier division (Veikkausliiga), for the first time in its history, at the end of the 2005 season. The club's manager is Vesa Vasara and it plays its home matches at Tapiolan urheilupuisto. It was founded in 1957 as Tapion Honka, and changed its name to FC Honka in 1975.
FC Honka is largely renowned in Finland for its extensive youth scheme with over 1000 youth players playing in various age groups. It also has women's football team in the Naisten Liiga.
Until 2005 FC Honka was thought of as a "nearly, but not quite" team, always underachieving in the Finnish First Division (Ykkönen). In the late 1990s the objective was promotion but year after year they failed. In the beginning of the 21st century FC Honka almost went bankrupt but was saved at the last moment.
In early 2005 the club was taken over by Jouko Pakarinen and Jouko Harjunpää, who had a plan to turn FC Honka from underachievers to a UEFA Champions League candidate.
In the first year of their take-over of FC Honka, the management succeeded in assembling a squad which won the First Division (Ykkönen) with ease and also made the semi-finals of the Finnish Cup where they eventually lost 1–0 to FC Haka.
FC Honka was able to fight for top positions instantly, but narrowly missed the top three in their first two seasons. However, in 2007 team lost the Finnish Cup final to Tampere United on penalties. As Tampere United also won the league title, FC Honka qualified for the 2008–09 UEFA Cup. In 2008, FC Honka achieved its first medal by finishing 2nd in the league.
FC Honka won the Finnish Cup in 2012. Due to financial difficulties the team was relegated to the third tier Kakkonen in 2015. In 2015 the fitness center company Esport bought the club and after that, the club has also been known as Esport Honka. The club dominated their first season in Kakkonen in 2015 and lost only two games, but were defeated in the promotion battle. After the 2016 season, the team was promoted to the second tier Finnish First Division (Ykkönen). After the 2017 Ykkönen season Honka was promoted to the highest Finnish tier Veikkausliiga after Promotion playoffs against HIFK.IIHF European Women's Champions Cup
IIHF European Women's Champions Cup (EWCC) was a European competition of Women's Ice Hockey clubs, organized annually by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) since 2004 till 2015. The format of this competition included two phases of groups followed by a final tournament for four teams.Jere Lehtinen
Jere Kalervo Lehtinen (born June 24, 1973) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey forward. A right winger, he was drafted in the third round, 88th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. Lehtinen played his entire 15-year National Hockey League (NHL) career with the North Stars/Dallas Stars organization. A two-way forward, Lehtinen is perhaps best known for his defensive responsibilities, for which he won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times as the NHL's top defensive forward. After his retirement, he has served as the general manager of the Finnish national ice hockey team.List of tallest buildings in Finland
This is a list of all buildings in Finland with a height of over 60 metres (197 feet), excluding churches. This list will be changing due to future building projects, such as the 8 REDI towers in Kalasatama, Helsinki with the tallest tower, "Majakka", that will be 134 meters tall, and the nine towers being built in Pasila, Helsinki between 2020-2026, with the tallest triangle shaped tower that will be 180 meters tall For other types of tall structures in Finland, see List of tallest structures in Finland.Nokia Networks
Nokia Networks (formerly Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN)) is a multinational data networking and telecommunications equipment company headquartered in Espoo, Finland, and wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia Corporation. It started as a joint venture between Nokia of Finland and Siemens of Germany known as Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia Networks has operations in around 120 countries. In 2013, Nokia acquired 100% of Nokia Networks, buying all of Siemens' shares. In April 2014, NSN name was phased out as part of rebranding process.Pitäjänmäki
Pitäjänmäki (Swedish: Sockenbacka) is a district located on the westernmost district of Helsinki, Finland, near the border with Espoo. There are many IT and machine manufacturing companies in the area, especially around the Valimo railway station. Such companies include Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, ABB, Fujitsu Siemens, Digia, Martela as well as Nordea Bank, Stockmann Auto Oy and Sweco Industry Oy. Besides, the suburb also contains many residential apartment buildings. The nearest shopping mall is Sello in Leppävaara, Espoo.
Pitäjänmäki hosts a famous designer jewellery manufacturing company called Kalevala Koru Oy.Rovio Entertainment
Rovio Entertainment Oyj (formerly Relude Oy and Rovio Mobile Oy) is a Finnish video game developer based in Espoo. Founded in 2003 by Helsinki University of Technology students Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen and Kim Dikert, the company is best known for the Angry Birds franchise.SPL Uudenmaan piiri
The SPL Uusimaan piiri (Uusimaa Football Association) is one of the 12 district organisations of the Football Association of Finland. It administers lower tier football in Vantaa.Tapiola
Tapiola (Finnish pronunciation: [tɑpiolɑ]; Swedish: Hagalund) is a district of the municipality of Espoo on the south coast of Finland, and is one of the major urban centres of Espoo. It is located in the western part of Greater Helsinki. The name Tapiola is derived from Tapio, who is the forest god of Finnish mythology, especially as expressed in the Kalevala.Tapiola was largely constructed in the 1950s and 1960s by the Finnish housing foundation and was designed as a garden city. It is the location of the Espoo cultural centre, the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), the Espoo city museum, and the Espoo City Theatre.
According to the Finnish National Board of Antiquities, Tapiola was the largest and most valuable example of the 1960s construction ideologies in Finland. Its architecture and landscaping that combines urban living with nature has attracted tourists ever since.Tapiola Bank
Tapiola Bank Ltd is a Finnish bank and a part of Tapiola Group, now LähiTapiola. Tapiola was originally only in the insurance business, but entered also the banking market in 2004 with Tapiola Bank. Loyalty benefits (50–100% discount from service fees) are given to customers who have both insurance contracts and bank accounts at Tapiola.
As of 2013, it's being merged into S-Bank.Tieto Keilalahti Campus
Tieto Keilalahti Campus (formerly named Nokia House then Microsoft Talo) is the head office building of Tieto, located in Keilaniemi, Espoo, just outside Helsinki, the capital of Finland.