Kempele is a municipality 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) south of the city of Oulu in Northern Finland. Historically it was in the province of Oulu, but today it is in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia. The population of Kempele is 18,927 (31 March 2021) and the municipality covers an area of 110.32 square kilometres (42.59 sq mi) (excluding sea), of which 0.21 square kilometres (0.081 sq mi) is inland waters (2018-01-01). The population density is 172 inhabitants per square kilometre (450/sq mi) (31 March 2021). The municipality of Kempele was founded in 1867.

Kempeleen kunta
Kempele kommun
Holy Trinity Church, Kempele
Holy Trinity Church, Kempele
Coat of arms of Kempele
Coat of arms
Location of Kempele in Finland
Location of Kempele in Finland
Coordinates: 64°54′45″N 025°30′30″E / 64.91250°N 25.50833°E / 64.91250; 25.50833Coordinates: 64°54′45″N 025°30′30″E / 64.91250°N 25.50833°E / 64.91250; 25.50833
Country Finland
RegionNorthern Ostrobothnia
Sub-regionOulu sub-region
 • Municipality managerTuomas Lohi
 • Total110.34 km2 (42.60 sq mi)
 • Land110.12 km2 (42.52 sq mi)
 • Water0.23 km2 (0.09 sq mi)
Area rank294th largest in Finland
 • Total18,927
 • Rank62nd largest in Finland
 • Density171.88/km2 (445.2/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish99% (official)
 • Swedish0.1%
 • Others0.8%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1423.9%
 • 15 to 6460.4%
 • 65 or older15.6%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Postal code
90440, 90450
Municipal tax rate[5]20.5%

Kempele is the birthplace of NHL goaltender Pekka Rinne.

The neighbouring municipalities are Liminka, Oulu and Tyrnävä.


Kempele was first permanently settled about 500 years ago, at a time when the coastline was closer than it is today. Kempele was considered part of Greater Liminka and consisted of only three houses in 1568, when it was called Kempele for the first time in official records. In 1774 full church privileges were granted to Kempele, which meant separation from Liminka and establishment as an autonomous parish. The municipal government was established in 1867.


The old wooden church of Kempele was built between 1688 and 1691.

The old church of Kempele, which was built between 1688 and 1691, is one of the oldest wooden churches in Finland. Kempele was granted the right to build a prayer room in 1688, but parishioners decided to construct a church with a steeple. Given the custom of burying local notables under the church, there are about 150 graves in the crypt, the last of them dating from 1796. The church includes decorations by the noted Finnish painter Mikael Toppelius.

The old church ceased to be in active use after a new church was built next to it in the 1990s, but some events are still held in it from time to time.

Kempele may be best known for being the headquarters of the world-famous heart rate monitor corporation Polar Electro, which first brought the device to market in 1978.

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M03*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Population according to age (1-year) and sex by area and the regional division of each statistical reference year, 2003-2020". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2021" (PDF). Tax Administration of Finland. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Välissuhted" (in Estonian). Elva linn. Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2011.

External linksEdit