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Kainuun maakunta
coat of arms map
coat of arms
Åland Varsinais-Suomi Uusimaa Kymenlaakso Südkarelien Nordkarelien Südsavo Päijät-Häme Kanta-Häme Kainuu Satakunta Pirkanmaa Mittelfinnland Nordsavo Österbotten Mittelösterbotten Südösterbotten Nordösterbotten Lappland Norwegen Schweden Russland Estland SchwedenLocation in Finland
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Basic data
Country: Finland
Municipalities: 9
Administrative headquarters: Kajaani
Surface: 24,451.77 km²
Residents: 75,085 May 31, 2016
Population density: 3.1 inhabitants per km²
ISO 3166 : FI-05

Kainuu [ ˈkɑi̯nuː ] ( Swedish. Kajanaland ) is a landscape ( maakunta ) in Finland .


Kainuu is located in northern Finland on the eastern border with Russia . Neighboring landscapes are North Karelia and North Savo in the south and North Ostrobothnia in the west and north. The area of ​​Kainuu is 24,452 km², the population is around 75,000. The largest city is Kajaani . With a population density of about 3.1 inhabitants per square kilometer, Kainuu is very sparsely populated and characterized by forests, moors and lakes. The largest lakes are Oulujärvi , Nuasjärvi , Ontojärvi , Lentua and Kiantajärvi . Kainuu is one of the poorest regions in Finland.


The city of Kajaani was founded in 1651 by Per Brahe the Younger . The economy of Kainuu was shaped by the raw materials of the forest: wood and tar, which were transported by water to the port in Oulu . Agriculture is only possible to a limited extent due to the harsh climatic conditions. In 1904 Kajaani was connected to the Finnish railway network. The line continues from Kuopio to Oulu, another branch leads via the border station Vartius to the Russian city of Kostomukscha (freight traffic only).

During the Winter War , heavy fighting took place in the Kainuu border region, especially the Battle of Suomussalmi (Battle of the Raatteentie ). Nowadays there is again an international border crossing to Russia in Vartius (town of Kuhmo). There is a small border traffic here, mainly in the form of day shopping trips.

Today Kainuu is one of the structurally weakest regions in the country and is experiencing a high level of migration to the boom regions in Finland.

Culture and sights

Culturally, Kainuu plays an important role for Finland. In the first half of the 19th century the Finnish doctor Elias Lönnrot traveled to this region to collect the traditional stories in song form. From this, the Finnish national epic Kalevala emerged from his adaptation . The Finnish writer Ilmari Kianto and the poet Eino Leino come from Kainuu.

The winter sports area of Vuokatti ( Sotkamo municipality ) attracts travelers from all over Finland. In the summer the Chamber Music Festival in Kuhmo has a high international reputation. In Kuhmo there is also a Kalevala village as a tourist attraction, which depicts life in earlier, pre-Christian times. Hiidenportti and Tiilikkajärvi National Parks are wholly or partially in Kainuu.


On January 1, 2005, a regional administrative reform was started in Kainuu for an eight-year trial phase, in which previously municipal and state tasks were transferred to the newly elected regional representative.

coat of arms

Blazon : "Divided by gold, green and gold, above in a pine cut , below in a wavy cut ."


Kainuu consists of nine parishes , including two cities (in bold). Population figures as of December 31, 2018.

  1. Kajaani (36,973)
  2. Vaala (2869)
  3. Paltamo (3336)
  4. Ristijärvi (1288)
  5. Sotkamo (10,389)
  6. Kuhmo (8329)
  7. Suomussalmi (7862)
  8. Hyrynsalmi (2287)
  9. Puolanka (2597)

The communities of Kainuu


  • Matti Huurre and Jorma Keränen: Kainuun historia 1 . Kajaani 1986.
  • Oiva Turpeinen: Kainuun historia 2 . Kajaani 1985.

Web links

Commons : Kainuu  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Status: January 1, 2011, source: Maanmittauslaitos ( memento of February 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (Finnish land surveying office): Suomen pinta-ala kunnittain January 1, 2009.
  2. Tilastokeskus.fi (Finnish Statistics Office), Finnish ( Memento of the original from August 15, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / pxnet2.stat.fi
  3. Statistical Office Finland: Table 11ra - Key figures on population by region, 1990-2018