Lapland (Finnish: Lappi [ˈlɑpːi]; Northern Sami: Lappi; Inari Sami: Lappi; Swedish: Lappland; Latin: Lapponia; Skolt Sami: Ла̄ппӣ мäддкåҍддь, Lappi mäddkå'dd) is the largest and northernmost region of Finland. The 21 municipalities in the region cooperate in a Regional Council. Lapland borders the region of North Ostrobothnia in the south. It also borders the Gulf of Bothnia, Norrbotten County in Sweden, Finnmark County and Troms County in Norway, and Murmansk Oblast and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. Topography varies from vast mires and forests of the South to fells in the North. The Arctic Circle crosses Lapland, so polar phenomena such as the midnight sun and polar night can be viewed in Lapland.[2][3]

Lappi (Finnish)
Lappi (Northern Sami)
Lappi (Inari Sami)
Lappi (Skolt Sami)
Lappland (Swedish)
Region of Lapland
Lapin maakunta (Finnish)
Lappi eanangoddi (Northern Sami)
Laapi eennâmkodde (Inari Sami)
Lappi mäddkåʹdd (Skolt Sami)
Landskapet Lappland (Swedish)
Coat of arms of Lapland
Location of Lapland
Coordinates: 67°N 026°E / 67°N 26°E / 67; 26
 • Total100,366 km2 (38,752 sq mi)
 • Land92,667 km2 (35,779 sq mi)
 • Water7,699 km2 (2,973 sq mi)
 • Total177,161
 • Density1.8/km2 (4.6/sq mi)
 • Total€6.348 billion (2015)
 • Per capita€35,014 (2015)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeFI-10
LakeLake Inari

Lapland's cold and wintry climate, coupled with its relative abundance of conifer trees such as pines and spruces, means that it has become associated with Christmas in some countries, most notably the United Kingdom, and holidays to Lapland are common towards the end of the year. However, the Lapland region has developed its infrastructure for year-round tourism. For example, in the 2019 snow-free period tourism grew more than in the winter season.[4] In recent years, Lapland has also become a major tourist destination for world-class celebrities as well as royalty.[5]

Rovaniemi is the main regional centre of Lapland, and the Rovaniemi Airport is the second busiest airport in Finland.[6] Besides tourism, other important sectors are trade, manufacturing and construction.[7][8] Like Rovaniemi, Inari is also one of the most important tourist destinations in Lapland for foreign tourism.[9][10]

Lapland has been connected with the legendary "North Pole" home of Santa Claus (Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas) since 1927, when Finnish radio host Markus Rautio said that Santa Claus lived on Korvatunturi, a fell (mountain) in the region. Later, Rovaniemi staked a claim as Santa's "official hometown" and developed the Santa Claus Village attraction to encourage tourism.[11]

Geography edit

The area of the Lapland region is 100,367 km², which consists of 92,667 km² of dry land, 6,316 km² fresh water and 1,383 km² of seawater.[12] In the south it borders the Northern Ostrobothnia region, in the west, Sweden, in the north and west Norway, and in the east, Russia. Its borders follow three rivers: the Tana, Muonio and Torne. The largest lake is Lake Inari, 1,102 km².[13] The region's highest point is on Halti, which reaches 1,324 m (4,344 ft) on the Finnish side of the border and is the highest point in Finland.[14]

The areas of Enontekiö and Utsjoki in northern Lapland are known as Fell-Lapland. The bulk and remaining Lapland is known as Forest-Lapland. Lake Inari, the many fens of the region and the Salla-Saariselkä mountains are all part of Forest-Lapland. Fell-Lapland lies in the fells of the Scandinavian Mountains. It is not made up of barren ground like blockfields but instead has the vegetation of birch forests, willow thickets or heath.[15] Common soil types in Forest-Lapland are till and sand with conifer forests growing on top. These forests show little variation across Lapland. Compared to southern Finland forest tree species grow slower. The understory typically consists of blueberries, lichens, crowberries and lings.[15]

The landscape of large parts of Lapland is an inselberg plain.[16] It has been suggested the inselberg plains were formed in the Late Cretaceous or Paleogene period by pediplanation or etchplanation.[17] Relative to southern Finland Lapland stands out for its thick till cover.[18][A] The hills and mountains are typically made up of resistant rocks like granite, gneiss, quartzite and amphibolite.[15] The ice sheet that covered Finland intermittently during the Quaternary grew out from the Scandinavian Mountains.[20] The central parts of the Fennoscandian ice sheet had cold-based conditions during times of maximum extent. This means that in areas like northeast Sweden and northern Finland, pre-existing landforms and deposits escaped glacier erosion and are particularly well preserved at present.[21] Northwest to the southeast movement of the ice has left a field of aligned drumlins in central Lapland. Ribbed moraines found in the same area reflects a later west-to-east change in the movement of the ice.[21] During the last deglaciation ice in Lapland retreated from the north-east, east and southeast so that the lower course of the Tornio was the last part of Finland to be deglaciated 10,100 years ago.[22] Present-day periglacial conditions in Lapland are reflected in the existence of numerous palsas, permafrost landforms developed on peat.[15]

The bedrock of Lapland belongs to the Karelian Domain occupying the bulk of the region, the Kola Domain in the northeast around Lake Inari and the Scandinavian Caledonides in the tip of Lapland's northwestern arm. With few exceptions rocks are of Archean and Proterozoic age. Granites, gneiss, metasediments and metavolcanics are common rocks while greenstone belts are recurring features.[23] More rare rock associations include mafic and ultramafic layered intrusions and one of the world's oldest ophiolites.[23][24] The region hosts valuable deposits of gold, chromium, iron and phosphate.[25]

Climate edit

The Luosto inselberg from air.
Aurora borealis over Kittilä, Lapland.

The very first snowflakes fall to the ground in late August or early September over the higher peaks. The first ground-covering snow arrives on average in October or late September. Permanent snow cover comes between mid-October and the end of November, significantly earlier than in southern Finland. The winter is long, approximately seven months. The snow cover is usually thickest in early April. Soon after that the snow cover starts to melt fast.[26] The thickest snow cover ever was measured in Kilpisjärvi on 19 April 1997 and it was 190 cm.[27] The annual mean temperature varies from a couple of degrees below zero in the northwest to a couple of degrees above zero in the southwest (Kemi-Tornio area). Lapland exhibits a trend of increasing precipitation towards the south, with the driest parts being located at the two arms.[28]

In summer months, the average temperature is consistently over 10°C. Heat waves with daily temperatures exceeding 25°C occur on an average of 5-10 days per summer in northern Finland.[29]

History edit

Wehrmacht soldiers with a local Sámi reindeer herder in Lappland, Sodankylä, Finland 1942.

The area of Lapland was split between two counties of the Swedish Realm from 1634 to 1809. The northern and western areas were part of Västerbotten County, while the southern areas (so-called Peräpohjola) were part of Ostrobothnia County (after 1755 Oulu County). The northern and western areas were transferred in 1809 to Oulu County, which became Oulu Province. Under the royalist constitution of Finland during the first half of 1918, Lapland was to become a Grand Principality and part of the inheritance of the proposed king of Finland. Lapland Province was separated from Oulu Province in 1938.

During the Interim Peace and beginning of the Continuation War the government of Finland allowed the Nazi German Army to station itself in Lapland as a part of Operation Barbarossa. After Finland made a separate peace with the Soviet Union in 1944, the Soviet Union demanded that Finland expel the German army from its soil. The result was the Lapland War, during which almost the whole civilian population of Lapland was evacuated. The Germans used scorched earth tactics in Lapland before they withdrew to Norway. 40 to 47 per cent of the dwellings in Lapland and 417 kilometres (259 mi) of railroads were destroyed, 9,500 kilometres (5,900 mi) of roadways were mined, destroyed or were unusable, and 675 bridges and 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of telephone lines were also destroyed. Ninety per cent of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, was burned to the ground, with only a few pre-war buildings surviving the destruction.

After the Second World War, Petsamo municipality and part of Salla municipality were ceded to the Soviet Union. The decades following the war were a period of rebuilding, industrialisation and fast economic growth. Large hydroelectric plants and mines were established and cities, roads and bridges were rebuilt after the destruction of the war. In the late 20th century the economy of Lapland started to decline, mines and factories became unprofitable and the population started to decline rapidly across most of the region.

The provinces of Finland were abolished on 1 January 2010, but Lapland was reorganised as one of the new regions that replaced them.[30]

Municipalities edit

The region of Lapland consists of 21 municipalities, four of which have city status (marked in bold).

Sub-regions edit

List of municipalities edit

Coat of
Municipality Population Land area
  Enontekiö 1,771 7,953 0.2 86 % 0.8 % 10.3 % 3 %
  Inari 7,127 15,060 0.5 88 % 0.4 % 6.9 % 5 %
  Kemi 19,371 95 203.1 94 % 0.2 % 0 % 6 %
  Kemijärvi 7,030 3,504 2 96 % 0.1 % 0 % 4 %
  Keminmaa 7,691 627 12.3 99 % 0.1 % 0 % 1 %
  Kittilä 6,822 8,095 0.8 94 % 0.4 % 0.4 % 5 %
  Kolari 4,011 2,559 1.6 97 % 0.6 % 0.1 % 2 %
  Muonio 2,325 1,904 1.2 94 % 0.5 % 0.4 % 5 %
  Pelkosenniemi 912 1,836 0.5 98 % 0 % 0 % 2 %
  Pello 3,253 1,738 1.9 97 % 0.7 % 0 % 2 %
  Posio 2,923 3,040 1 98 % 0.1 % 0 % 2 %
  Ranua 3,599 3,454 1 98 % 0.2 % 0 % 2 %
  Rovaniemi 65,286 7,582 8.6 95 % 0.2 % 0.3 % 5 %
  Salla 3,344 5,730 0.6 96 % 0.3 % 0.1 % 4 %
  Savukoski 978 6,440 0.2 97 % 0.4 % 0.5 % 2 %
  Simo 2,828 1,446 2 99 % 0.2 % 0 % 1 %
  Sodankylä 8,126 11,693 0.7 96 % 0.2 % 1.6 % 2 %
  Tervola 2,831 1,560 1.8 97 % 0.1 % 0 % 3 %
  Tornio 21,018 1,189 17.7 96 % 0.5 % 0.1 % 3 %
  Utsjoki 1,139 5,147 0.2 54 % 0.2 % 41.5 % 4 %
  Ylitornio 3,765 2,029 1.9 95 % 0.7 % 0.1 % 4 %
Total 171,246 92,683 1.9 95 % 0.3 % 0.9 % 4 %

Economy edit

Lapland's economy (2012)

  Public sector (33%)
  Retail/Lodging/Restaurants (15%)
  Industry (14%)
  Business services (14%)
  Construction (7%)
  Traffic and Transportation (6%)
  Primary production (6%)
  Household services (5%)
Economic facts and figures (2021)[31]
Jobs 68,370
GDP (million euros) 6,940
GDP (per capita) €39,320
Private and public offices 10,400
Private sector revenues (million euros) 15,400
Exports (million euros) 4,000
Private and public sector workers 62,600
Unemployment 9.8%

Tourism edit

Top 10 tourism source countries in 2016–2018[32]
Country 2016 2017 2018
1.   United Kingdom 233,295 273,603 285,359
2.   Germany 137,440 162,035 165,993
3.   France 124,071 141,123 159,343
4.   Netherlands 59,368 83,069 95,673
5.   China (including   Hong Kong) 54,116 85,109 90,751
6.   Norway 67,633 68,695 67,453
7.    Switzerland 57,709 62,053 65,428
8.   Russia 55,278 56,395 54,963
9.   Spain 37,842 43,607 53,132
10.   Italy 35,638 42,996 40,359
Total foreign 1,213,689 1,479,691 1,563,495

Population edit

Lapland is the home of about 3.4% of Finland's total population and is by far the least densely populated area in the country. The biggest towns in Lapland are Rovaniemi (the regional capital), Tornio, and Kemi. In 2011, Lapland had a population of 183,320 of whom 177,950 spoke Finnish, 1,526 spoke Sami, 387 spoke Swedish and 3,467 spoke some other languages as their mother tongue.[33] Of the Sami languages, Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami are spoken in the region. Pelkosenniemi is the smallest municipality in mainland Finland in terms of population, while Savukoski is sparsely populated in terms of population density.[34]

Lapland's population has been in decline since 1990.

People with a foreign background[35][36]
Country of origin Population (2017)
  Sweden 3,087
  Russia 942
  Myanmar 415
  Iraq 256
  Thailand 245
  Syria 244
  Estonia 195
  Norway 192
  Germany 187
  Afghanistan 183
  China 182
  Vietnam 172
  Somalia 169
  Turkey 122
  United Kingdom 107
Population of Lapland
Year Population
1900 51,000
1950 169,211
1955 189,176
1960 208,788
1965 221,162
1970 197,429
1975 195,131
1980 196,288
1985 200,571
1990 201,652
1995 200,579
2000 189,288
2005 184,935
2010 183,484
2015 180,858

Regional council edit

The 21 municipalities of Lapland are organised into a single region, where they cooperate in the Lapland regional council, Lapin liitto or Lapplands förbund.

Politics edit

Lapland has seven seats in the 200-seat parliament of Finland. In the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election, three seats went to Centre Party, and the Finns Party, the Left Alliance, the Social Democratic Party and the National Coalition Party got one seat each.[37]

The votes were distributed as follows:

Sámi homeland edit

Sámi family in Lapland, 1936.

The northernmost municipalities of Lapland where the Sámi people are the most numerous form the Sámi homeland. Sámi organisation exists in parallel with the provincial one.

Transport edit

Traffic in Lapland

Roads edit

Three European roads pass through Lapland: E8, E63 and E75, the latter of which runs almost 600 kilometres from the southernmost municipality of Simo to the northernmost municipality of Utsjoki.[38]

Airports edit

Kemi-Tornio, Rovaniemi, Kittilä, Ivalo and Enontekiö airports are located in Lapland. The flight time from Helsinki is about 1,5 hours.[39]

Railways edit

In the western part, the Laurila–Kelloselkä railway runs from Tornio to Kolari,[40] and the eastern line runs from Keminmaa via Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi to the eastern border of the country at Salla's Kelloselkä.[41]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Among the glacial deposits of Finnish Lapland pre-Quaternary Cenozoic marine microfossils have been found. These findings were first reported by Astrid Cleve in 1934, leading to the assumption that the areas were drowned by the sea during the Eocene. However, as of 2013, no sedimentary deposit from this time has been found and the marine fossils may have arrived much later by wind transport.[19]

References edit

  1. ^ Regions and Cities > Regional Statistics > Regional Economy > Regional GDP per Capita, OECD.Stats. Accessed on 16 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Land of the Midnight Sun". Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  3. ^ "Polar Night - The most magical time of the year | Only in Lapland". House of Lapland. 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  4. ^ "Infographic: 10 facts about tourism in Lapland 2019". House of Lapland. 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  5. ^ "Kourtney Kardashian, Lionel Messi, Ed Sheeran… 15 international celebrities that have visited Finnish Lapland". Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Traffic statistics | Finavia". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  7. ^ "Infographic: Distribution of Lapland's Industry | Business Lapland". House of Lapland. 2019-11-19. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  8. ^ "Statistics and publications". (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  9. ^ Tourism Inari – Saariselkä – Utsjoki – Ivalo - Discovering Finland
  10. ^ For travellers: Inari-Saariselkä tourism region -
  11. ^ Geiling, Natasha. "Where Does Santa Live? The North Pole Isn't Always the Answer". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Suomen pinta-ala kunnittain 1.1.2016" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Lake Inari". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Mount Halti". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d Lindberg, Johan (February 2, 2011). "Lappland". Uppslagsverket Finland (in Swedish). Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Ebert, K.; Hall, A.; Hättestrand, C.; Alm, G. (2009). "Multi-phase development of a glaciated inselberg landscape". Geomorphology. 115 (1): 56–66. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.030.
  17. ^ Kaitanen, Veijo (1985). "Problems concerning the origin of inselbergs in Finnish Lapland". Fennia. 163 (2): 359–364.
  18. ^ Kleman, J.; Stroeven, A.P.; Lundqvist, Jan (2008). "Patterns of Quaternary ice sheet erosion and deposition in Fennoscandia and a theoretical framework for explanation". Geomorphology. 97 (1–2): 73–90. Bibcode:2008Geomo..97...73K. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.02.049.
  19. ^ Hall, Adrian M.; Ebert, Karin (2013). "Cenozoic microfossils in northern Finland: Local reworking or distant wind transport?". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 388: 1–14. Bibcode:2013PPP...388....1H. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2013.07.012.
  20. ^ Fredin, Ola (2002). "Glacial inception and Quaternary mountain glaciations in Fennoscandia". Quaternary International. 95–96: 99–112. Bibcode:2002QuInt..95...99F. doi:10.1016/s1040-6182(02)00031-9.
  21. ^ a b Sarala, Pertti (2005). "Weichselian stratigraphy, geomorphology and glacial dynamics in southern Finnish Lapland". Bulletin of the Geological Society of Finland. 77 (2): 71–104. doi:10.17741/bgsf/77.2.001.
  22. ^ Stroeven, Arjen P.; Hättestrand, Clas; Kleman, Johan; Heyman, Jakob; Fabel, Derek; Fredin, Ola; Goodfellow, Bradley W.; Harbor, Jonathan M.; Jansen, John D.; Olsen, Lars; Caffee, Marc W.; Fink, David; Lundqvist, Jan; Rosqvist, Gunhild C.; Strömberg, Bo; Jansson, Krister N. (2016). "Deglaciation of Fennoscandia". Quaternary Science Reviews. 147: 91–121. Bibcode:2016QSRv..147...91S. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.09.016. hdl:1956/11701.
  23. ^ a b Vaasjoki, M.; Korsman, K.; Koistinen, T. (2005). "Overview". In Lehtinen, Martti; Nurmi, Pekka A. (eds.). Precambrian Geology of Finland. Elsevier Science. pp. 1–17. ISBN 9780080457598.
  24. ^ Peltonen, P. (2005). "Ophiolites". In Lehtinen, Martti; Nurmi, Pekka A. (eds.). Precambrian Geology of Finland. Elsevier Science. pp. 237–277. ISBN 9780080457598.
  25. ^ Eilu, P.; Ahtola, T.; Äikäs, O.; Halkoaho, T.; Heikura, P.; Hulkki, H.; Iljina, M.; Juopperi, H.; Karinen, T.; Kärkkäinen, N.; Konnunaho, J.; Kontinen, A.; Kontoniemi, O.; Korkiakoski, E.; Korsakova, M.; Kuivasaari, T.; Kyläkoski, M.; Makkonen, H.; Niiranen, T.; Nikander, J.; Nykänen, V.; Perdahl, J.-A.; Pohjolainen, E.; Räsänen, J.; Sorjonen-Ward, P.; Tiainen, M.; Tontti, M.; Torppa, A.; Västi, K. (2012). "Metallogenic areas in Finland". In Eilu, Pasi (ed.). Mineral deposits and metallogeny of Fennoscandia. Geological Survey of Finland, Special Paper. Vol. 53. Espoo. pp. 19–32. ISBN 978-952-217-175-7.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  26. ^ "Snow statistics". Finnish Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Sääennätyksiä" (in Finnish). Finnish Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Present climate – 30 year mean values". Finnish Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Seasons in Finland - Finnish Meteorological Institute". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  30. ^ "New regional administration model abolishes provinces in 2010". Helsingin Sanomat International Edition. Sanoma Corporation. 31 December 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  31. ^ "Lapin suhdannekatsaus 2021" (PDF). Lapin luotsi. 19 December 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  32. ^ "Vuosittaiset yöpymiset ja saapuneet asuinmaittain muuttujina Alue, Maa, Vuosi ja Tiedot". VisitFinland.
  33. ^ "Statistics Finland – Statistical databases".[dead link]
  34. ^ Kuntien pinta-alat ja asukastiheydet – Kuntaliitto (in Finnish)
  35. ^[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "PX-Web - Valitse muuttuja ja arvot". Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-11-10.
  37. ^ "Yle - Tulospalvelu - Lapin vaalipiiri - Eduskuntavaalit 2019 -".
  38. ^ Utsjoki–Simo eäisyys – (in Finnish)
  39. ^ "How to get to Lapland". Lapin liitto. Archived from the original on 2015-09-03. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  40. ^ "Tornio-Kolari -rataosuuden parannustyö" (in Finnish). VR Rata. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  41. ^ "Tasoristeysten turvallisuus rataosalla Kemijärvi–Kelloselkä" (PDF) (in Finnish). VTT. Retrieved 21 November 2022.}

External links edit