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Municipalities of Finland

From Academic Kids

This article is part of the
Subdivisions of Finland series
Provinces
Governors
Provincial Offices
Regions
Councils
Districts
Municipalities
List
List by population
List by area
Towns
NUTS:FI
ISO 3166-2:FI

The municipalities (kunta in Finnish, kommun in Swedish) represent the local level of self-government in Finland and act as the basic regional administrative units of the country. Municipalities control many community services, such as schools, health care and the water supply. They do not maintain roads, set laws or keep police forces, which tasks are the responsibility of the central government. A municipality is governed by an elected council (valtuusto), which is legally autonomous and answers only to the voters. The size of the council is proportional to the population, the extremes being 9 in Sottunga and 85 in Helsinki. Municipal managers (kunnanjohtaja or kaupunginjohtaja) are civil servants named by the council.

In 2005 there are 432 municipalities in Finland. Of these 114 are towns, 44 are bilingual and 3 are unilingually Finland-Swedish, plus the 16 municipalities on the unilingually Finland-Swedish Åland province.

Municipalities were originally parishes. The old word for a municipality is pitäjä, "keeper", because when the system was instituted, one municipality kept one minister. Until 1977 municipalities were divided into towns (kaupunki/stad), market towns (kauppala/köping) and country municipalities (maalaiskunta/landskommun). The market towns were abolished and renamed to towns. The rest of the municipalities were classed as "other municipalities". From 1995 onwards only "municipality" is recognized by law and any municipality that wishes so can call itself a town.

Municipalities by Regions

ro:Listă de municipii din Finlanda

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