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Provinces of Finland

From Academic Kids

Finland consists of 6 provinces (Finnish: läänit, Swedish: län). The provincial authority is part of the central government's executive branch. The system was created in 1634, and its makeup was changed drastically in 1997, when the number of the provinces was reduced from 12 to 6. This effectively made them purely administrative units, as the linguistic or cultural variations do not follow the borders of the provinces. The State of Finland is since the late 19th century bilingual. Its governmental offices and agencies use both domestic languages in contacts with the public.

Image:Suomen laanit.png
No.ProvincesFinnish and
Swedish names
Residence cityPopulation (2003)Area (km²)Merged Provinces (1997)
1.Southern FinlandEtelä-Suomen lääni
Södra Finlands län
Hämeenlinna
Tavastehus
2,116,91434,378Uusimaa, Kymi, Tavastia
2.Western FinlandLänsi-Suomen lääni
Västra Finlands län
Turku
Åbo
1,848,26974,185Vaasa, Turku-Pori, Central Finland, Tavastia (Pirkanmaa)
3.Eastern FinlandItä-Suomen lääni, Östra Finlands län Mikkeli
S:t Michel
582,78148,726Kuopio, North Karelia, Mikkeli
4.OuluOulun lääni
Uleåborgs län
Oulu
Uleåborg
458,50457,000No changes
5.LaplandLapin lääni
Lapplands län
Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi
186,91798,946No changes
6.Åland¹Ahvenanmaan lääni
Ålands län²
Maarianhamina
Mariehamn²
26,0006,784No changes

1/ Some duties, which in Mainland Finland are handled by the provinces, are on the Åland Islands transferred to the autonomous Government of Åland.
2/ The Åland Islands are unilingually Swedish.

Each province has a State Provincial Office (lääninhallitus/länsstyrelse) which act as the joint regional authority for seven ministries in the following domains:

  • social and health care
  • education and culture
  • police administration
  • rescue services
  • traffic administration
  • competition and consumer affairs
  • judicial administration

The official entities under the Provicial Office authority are the jurisdictional districts (police) and city administrative courts (registries). Each State Provincial Office authority is led by a governor (maaherra, landshövding) who is appointed by the president after a proposal by the cabinet.

See also

External links

fr:Régions de Finlande pl:Podział administracyjny Finlandiipt:Provķncias da Finlāndia ro:Provinciile Finlandei ru:Ляни fi:Suomen läänit sv:Län i Finland

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