Ostrobothnia (region)

Last updated
Ostrobothnia

landskapet Österbotten
Pohjanmaan maakunta
Pohjanmaan maakunnan vaakuna.svg
Coat of arms
Pohjanmaa sijainti Suomi.svg
Ostrobothnia on a map of Finland
Country Finland
Historical province Ostrobothnia
Capital Vaasa
Area
  Total7,932.36 km2 (3,062.70 sq mi)
Population
 (2019)
  Total180,445
  Density23/km2 (59/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 code FI-12
NUTS 195
Regional bird Common swift (Apus apus)
Regional fish Common whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus)
Regional flower European meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Website osterbotten.fi

Ostrobothnia (Swedish : Österbotten; Finnish : Pohjanmaa) is a region in western Finland. It borders the regions of Central Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, and Satakunta and is one of the four modern regions making up the historical province of Ostrobothnia.

Contents

Ostrobothnia is one of the two Finnish regions with a Swedish-speaking majority (the other being the constitutionally monolingual province of Åland); Swedish-speakers make up 51.2%. [1] The region contains thirteen bilingual municipalities and one that is exclusively Finnish-speaking. The capital of Vaasa is predominantly inhabited by Finnish speakers, whereas smaller towns and rural areas are generally dominated by the Swedish language. The three most inhabited municipalities of that type are Korsholm, Jakobstad and Pedersöre.

Geographically, Ostrobothnia has little topographical relief, because it is mostly former seafloor brought to surface by post-glacial rebound and the accumulation of alluvial sediment. Ostrobothnia has both vast expanses of cultivated fields (lakeus) as in Southern Ostrobothnia, and the archipelago of Kvarken (Finnish: Merenkurkku). Glacial transport has deposited large quantities of rocks in the area. [2] Like elsewhere in Pohjanmaa, rivers are a prominent part of the landscape. The major rivers that discharge into the Gulf of Bothnia in Ostrobothnia are Kyrönjoki, Lapuanjoki and Ähtävänjoki.

Kaskinen, a coastal town located in the southern part of the region, is the smallest town in Finland in terms of both area and population. [3]

Name and symbols

Prior to the officialization of the names of the Finnish regions, Ostrobothnia was also known as Vasa kustregionen in Swedish and Vaasan rannikkoseutu in Finnish, both of which translate into "[the] coastal region of Vaasa". The Institute for the Languages of Finland recommended that the region be named Kustösterbotten in Swedish and Rannikko-Pohjanmaa in Finnish, meaning "coastal Ostrobothnia" in English. However, upon the confirmation of the names of the Finnish regions on 26 February 1998, the current name of the region was officialized instead, according to the wishes of the regional government. The central government cited the Swedish language's prevalence in the region, as well as the lack of a common consensus on an alternative name the reasons for its decision. [4] In local circles or communities, Ostrobothnia is often referred to as "Pampas". The word derives from the similarities in the flat landscape with the Pampas area in South America.

The regional tree is the black alder (Alnus glutinosa), the regional mammal is the common elk (Alces alces alces), the regional stone is Vaasa granite and the regional song is "The march of Vaasa" (Swedish : Vasamarschen, Finnish : Vaasan marssi).

Coat of arms

Gules, a sheaf Or; on chief countercharged four ermines 2+2 courant.

The sprouting wheatsheaf is a symbol of the Royal House of Vasa; a Vasa king established the city of Vaasa, the capital of the region. The running stoats are a symbol of Ostrobothnia.

Municipalities and languages

The region of Ostrobothnia is made up of 14 municipalities, of which six have city status (marked in bold), and the links are only in the majority language names. The greater Vaasa region has about 40% Swedish native speakers and a Finnish majority, whereas the Jakobstad region has about 70% and the southern region about 57% Swedish speakers. The rural part of the Vaasa region has a sizeable Swedish-speaking majority, with the majority of native Finnish speakers in Ostrobothnia as a whole living in Vaasa city proper. Isokyrö is a former unilingually Finnish municipality of the region, but transferred to South Ostrobothnia in 2021.

Ostrobothnia is similar to German-speaking South Tyrol in Italy in that its capital has the majority language of the country as the mainly spoken one, but the region in general is having a different majority language to the nation as a whole. Other similar regions in Western Europe with a different main language compared to the country also see that reflected in the capitals. The main difference between the language statuses of Ostrobothnia and South Tyrol is that Swedish is official at governmental level in all of Finland, something that does not apply to German outside of the Tyrolean region.

Name in
Finnish
Name in
Swedish
Population [5] Swedish
Speakers [6]
Finnish
Speakers [6]
Sub-Region
Pietarsaari Jakobstad 19,063Jakobstad
Kaskinen Kaskö1,278Sydösterbotten
Mustasaari Korsholm 19,454Vaasa
Korsnäs Korsnäs 2,067Vaasa
Kristiinankaupunki Kristinestad 6,401Sydösterbotten
Kruunupyy Kronoby 6,413Jakobstad
Laihia Laihela7,999Kyrönmaa
Luoto Larsmo 5,536Jakobstad
Maalahti Malax 5,453Vaasa
Närpiö Närpes 9,561Sydösterbotten
Uusikaarlepyy Nykarleby 7,478Jakobstad
Pedersören kunta Pedersöre 11,177Jakobstad
Vaasa Vasa67,569Vaasa
Vöyri Vörå 6,389Vaasa

Former municipalities:

Climate

Ostrobothnia is located in the borderlands between the humid continental and subarctic climates (Köppen Dfb/Dfc). Its winters are moderated by prevailing westerly winds from the mild North Atlantic Current travelling across Norway, Sweden and the Bay of Bothnia. Although the sea tends to easily freeze over in winter during prolonged spells of cold weather due to the low salinity, winters seldom get severely cold.

In general during latter decades, the southern Bothnia Bay coastlines of central Norrland in Sweden across the strait and Ostrobothnia mostly range from slightly above 20 °C (68 °F) average highs in summer to about −3 °C (27 °F) highs and −10 °C (14 °F) lows in winter. Due to the vastness of the region from north to south, this will vary by a bit from one place to another depending on latitude.

Precipitation is quite variable but is enough to build up a reliable snowpack all through the region during winter months. In summer, Ostrobothnia experiences perpetual civil twilight due to its high latitude with the sun angle never falling below -3° at summer solstice in Vaasa and -2° in Jakobstad. [7] [8] During that time of the year, daylight remains bright enough to permit daytime outdoor activities without artificial lighting especially under clear skies. As a result, days are short during winter although all areas of Ostrobothnia are far south of the Arctic Circle.

Politics

Results of the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election in Ostrobothnia:

See also

Related Research Articles

Kokkola Town in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland

Kokkola is a town and municipality of Finland. The town is located in the Central Ostrobothnia region. The town has a population of 47,774 and covers an area of 2,730.80 square kilometres (1,054.37 sq mi) of which 1,286.61 km2 (496.76 sq mi) is water. The population density is 33.08 inhabitants per square kilometre (85.7/sq mi). Neighbour municipalities are Halsua, Kalajoki, Kannus, Kaustinen, Kronoby, Lestijärvi, Larsmo and Toholampi.

Gulf of Bothnia

The Gulf of Bothnia is the northernmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It is situated between Finland's west coast (Ostrobothnia) and Sweden's east coast. In the south of the gulf lie the Åland Islands, between the Sea of Åland and the Archipelago Sea.

Ostrobothnia (historical province)

Ostrobothnia, Swedish: Österbotten, Finnish: Pohjanmaa is a historical province comprising a large western and northern part of modern Finland. It is bounded by Karelia, Savonia, Tavastia and Satakunda in the south, the Bothnian Sea, Bothnian Bay and Swedish Västerbotten in the west, Laponia in the north and Russia in the east.

Western Finland Province Place in Finland

Western Finland was a province of Finland from 1997 to 2009. It bordered the provinces of Oulu, Eastern Finland and Southern Finland. It also bordered the Gulf of Bothnia towards Åland. Tampere was the largest city of the province.

Nykarleby Town in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Nykarleby is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located in the Ostrobothnia region. The municipality is bilingual, with the majority speaking Swedish (89% ) and the minority Finnish (8% ).

Jakobstad Town in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Jakobstad is a town and municipality in Ostrobothnia, Finland. The town has a population of 19,063 and covers a land area of 88.31 km2 (34.10 sq mi). The population density is 215.86/km2 (559.1/sq mi). Neighboring municipalities are Larsmo, Pedersöre, and Nykarleby. The city of Vaasa is located 98 km (61 mi) southwest of Jakobstad.

The former Province of Western Finland in Finland was divided into seven regions, 34 districts and 192 municipalities.

Seinäjoki City in South Ostrobothnia, Finland

Seinäjoki is a city located in South Ostrobothnia, Finland; 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of Vaasa, 178 kilometres (111 mi) north of Tampere, 193 kilometres (120 mi) west of Jyväskylä and 324 kilometres (201 mi) southwest of Oulu. Seinäjoki originated around the Östermyra bruk iron and gunpowder factories founded in 1798. Seinäjoki became a municipality in 1868, market town in 1931 and town in 1960. In 2005, the municipality of Peräseinäjoki was merged into Seinäjoki, and in the beginning of 2009, the neighbouring municipalities of Nurmo and Ylistaro were consolidated with Seinäjoki. Seinäjoki is one of the fastest growing regional centers in Finland.

The 17 municipalities of the region of South Ostrobothnia in Finland are divided on four sub-regions.

The 14 municipalities of the Ostrobothnia Region in Finland are divided into four sub-regions. Both their location and the dominant language imply these divisions; Kyrönmaa, for example, is Finnish-speaking, whereas the others have Swedish-speakers in the majority. Most places have both Swedish and Finnish names.

North Ostrobothnia Region of Finland

North Ostrobothnia is a region of Finland. It borders the Finnish regions of Lapland, Kainuu, North Savo, Central Finland and Central Ostrobothnia, as well as the Russian Republic of Karelia.

Central Ostrobothnia Region of Finland

Central Ostrobothnia is a region in Finland. It borders the regions of Ostrobothnia, North Ostrobothnia, Central Finland and South Ostrobothnia.

Korsholm Municipality in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Korsholm is a municipality of Finland. The town of Vaasa was founded in Korsholm parish in 1606 and today the municipality completely surrounds the city. It is a coastal, mostly rural municipality, consisting of a rural landscape and a large, fractured archipelago. The administrative center is Smedsby, situated 3 km (2 mi) from Vaasa center along Finnish national road 8.

Raahe Town in North Ostrobothnia, Finland

Raahe is a town and municipality of Finland. Founded by Swedish statesman and Governor General of Finland Count Per Brahe the Younger in 1649, it is one of 10 historic wooden towns remaining in Finland. Examples of other Finnish historic wooden towns are Kaskinen (Kaskö), Old Rauma, Porvoo (Borgå), Jakobstad (Pietarsaari), and Vaasa (Vasa). After a devastating fire in 1810, Raahe was rebuilt adhering to new design principles which minimized the risk of fire and enlarged some civic spaces. Old Raahe is noted for its Renaissance-inspired rectilinear town plan featuring an unusual central-square with closed corners.

Vasabladet is a Swedish language regional daily newspaper in Ostrobothnia, Finland. In terms of circulation, it is the second largest Swedish newspaper in Finland, behind Hufvudstadsbladet.

Maalaiskunta (Finnish), landskommun (Swedish), "rural municipality", abbreviated mlk was one of the four types of municipality in Finland in 1865–1976. Other types in 1865–1959 were city and market town, in 1960–1976 old city, new city and market town. Maalaiskunta was the most common type of municipality. In the 1977 reform, all municipalities were given fully equal legal standing. Previous maalaiskuntas associated with a city retained their name. For example, Rovaniemen maalaiskunta surrounded the city of Rovaniemi, but were independently governed. From 2009, no municipalities will carry this name any more, after the merger of Jyväskylä and Jyväskylän mlk.

Granskär

Granskär is an island in the Kvarken, the narrowest part of the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern part of the Baltic sea. It has few inhabitants, almost all Swedish-speaking. Granskär belongs to the municipality of Vaasa.

Vaasa City in Ostrobothnia, Finland

Vaasa is a city on the west coast of Finland. It received its charter in 1606, during the reign of Charles IX of Sweden and is named after the Royal House of Vasa. Vaasa has a population of 67,569, and is the regional capital of Ostrobothnia.

Finnish national road 8

Finnish national road 8 runs along the western coast of Finland. The road starts at Turku, continues to Vaasa and ends in the intersection with Finnish national road 4 in Liminka, 25 km south of Oulu. It constitutes much of the length of European route E8. Cities along the road are Rauma, Pori, Kristinestad, Närpes, Vaasa, Nykarleby, Kokkola and Raahe. From Liminka, the road continues to the same direction to Oulu as road 4; road 4 to Liminka intersects it from the left.

Names of places in Finland in Finnish and in Swedish

Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Many places in the country have different names in Finnish and Swedish, both being official endonyms.

References

  1. Väestö iän ja sukupuolen mukaan alueittain [ permanent dead link ] 31.12.2008. Tilastokeskus: demography.
  2. "Aika, kallioperä ja jääkaudet » Merenkurkun saaristo". www.merenkurkku.fi. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  3. The Island Town of Artisans, Fishermen and Sailors – Visit Kaskinen
  4. "Valtioneuvosto nimesi Suomen maakunnat". The Finnish Ministry of Internal Affairs (in Finnish). 26 February 1998. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  5. "Suomen virallinen tilasto (SVT): Väestön ennakkotilasto [verkkojulkaisu]. Joulukuu 2020" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland . Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  6. 1 2 "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  7. "Sunrise and sunset times in Vaasan Lääni, June 2021". Timeanddate.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  8. "Sunrise and sunset times in Jakobstad, June". Timeanddate.com. Retrieved 9 January 2021.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Ostrobothnia at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 63°N22°E / 63°N 22°E / 63; 22