Salo, Finland

Salo (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈsɑlo]) is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located in the Southwest Finland region. The municipality has a population of 51,407[2] (December 31, 2021) and covers an area of 2,168.30 square kilometres (837.19 sq mi) of which 181.78 km2 (70.19 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 25.88/km2 (67.0/sq mi). The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Salon kaupunki
Salo stad
Salo town centre by night
Salo town centre by night
Coat of arms of Salo
Location of Salo in Finland
Location of Salo in Finland
Coordinates: 60°23′10″N 023°07′30″E / 60.38611°N 23.12500°E / 60.38611; 23.12500Coordinates: 60°23′10″N 023°07′30″E / 60.38611°N 23.12500°E / 60.38611; 23.12500
Country Finland
RegionSouthwest Finland
Market town1887
City rights1960
 • City managerTero Nissinen
 • City2,168.30 km2 (837.19 sq mi)
 • Land1,986.49 km2 (766.99 sq mi)
 • Water181.78 km2 (70.19 sq mi)
 • Rank30th largest in Finland
 • City51,407
 • Rank20th largest in Finland
 • Density25.88/km2 (67.0/sq mi)
 • Metro
Population by native language
 • Finnish94.6% (official)
 • Swedish1%
 • Others4.4%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1414%
 • 15 to 6458.2%
 • 65 or older27.8%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]20.75%

In Finnish salo means woodland, backwoods but also a wooded island. It is thought that Salo has meant the island that over thousand years ago existed to the south of the current town but is today (due to the post-glacial rebound typical in the area) a hill, not even very close to the sea.[6]

Salo is located between the capital Helsinki (distance 114 kilometres (71 mi)) and the provincial capital Turku (distance 52 kilometres (32 mi)), making it a busy small city. The short distance from these bigger cities keeps the Salo region and its business life growing. Farming also plays a considerable part in the area. Salo's neighbouring municipalities are Koski Tl, Lohja, Kimitoön, Marttila, Paimio, Raseborg, Sauvo and Somero. It also is sister cities with Saint Anthony Village of Minnesota.

Once the town's main claim to fame, Salo had a large consumer electronics and mobile phone industry, with a manufacturing plant operated by Nokia and briefly by Microsoft Mobile in the 2010s until it was shut down. Nokia was once the dominant employer in the town, and the plant's closure in 2015 has led to high unemployment.

Salo is the birthplace of the president of Finland Sauli Niinistö.


Salo has existed as a centre of rural commerce since at least the 16th century, emerging in the location where the Great Coastal Road,[7] the important East-West road, crossed River Salo; the river provided the fairway to the sea. In 1887 Salo officially became a market town and, in the beginning of 1891, an independent municipality.[8] The area of the municipality was initially very small, only 0.65 km². In 1932 it grew to 18 km² when areas from neighbouring Uskela and Halikko were annexed to Salo. Eventually Salo became a town in 1960. The municipality of Uskela was consolidated with Salo 1967. The municipalities of Halikko, Kiikala, Kisko, Kuusjoki, Muurla, Perniö, Pertteli, Suomusjärvi and Särkisalo were consolidated with Salo in the beginning of 2009. Salo is also a popular last name in Finland.


Salo was well known in Finland and around the world for its large mobile phone factory operated by Nokia. Nokia first started producing mobile phones in Salo in 1981. A new plant, 15,000 square metres, opened in June 1995. By this time 1,200 people were employed there, and it exported products to 70 countries as of 1995.[9] As of 2008, 5,000 people were employed at the plant.[10]

In 2012 amid heavy financial losses, Nokia laid off a third of Salo's 3,500 workforce and gradually shifted manufacturing to Asia. It had a negative impact on the town with unemployment rising. In 2010 Nokia accounted for 95% of the town's corporate tax income, amounting to €60 million, but this dropped to just €14 million by 2012.[11] By the end of the year Salo no longer produced hardware and became a research and development centre.

After the centre was in the hands of Microsoft Mobile, layoffs continued and eventually in June 2015 Microsoft announced the closure of the plant, putting the jobs of the 1,100 employees at risk. By this time Salo's unemployment rate was 15%, and the layoffs could push that further to 20%. Solidarity was expressed by some Finnish politicians after Salo's decline, which also came amid Finland's slow post-2008 crisis economy.[12]


The city is home to the professional basketball team Salon Vilpas Vikings, which plays in the Finish 1st Division Korisliiga. It plays its home games in the Salohalli. The most important orienteering club is Angelniemen Ankkuri, which organizes the Halikko relay every autumn.


VR Class Vr1 steam locomotive no. 656 "Kana" ("Hen") on a turntable outside Salo Art Museum

European route E18 runs through Salo, passing the city center a few kilometers North, but the national road 52 between Raseborg and Somero goes through the city center. The "Coastal Railway" from Helsinki to Turku and further to Turku Harbour crosses the town center; all InterCity trains and most of the high-speed Pendolino trains stop at Salo railway station. The closest airports are Turku Airport (limited number of domestic and international flights) and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Regional road 110 (Old Turku Road) in the village of Kitula

In 2016, the city of Salo signed a letter of intent with Los Angeles-based company Virgin Hyperloop One in order to launch a project to build a 50 km long Hyperloop tube between Salo and Turku.[13]

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — eleven citiesEdit

Salo has eight sister cities:[14]


  1. ^ a b "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Preliminary population structure by area, 2021M01*-2021M12*". StatFin (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  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. ^ Paikkala, Sirkka (2018-06-19). "Etunimien ajankuva". Virittäjä. 122 (2). doi:10.23982/vir.68985. ISSN 2242-8828.
  7. ^ Forbes, Elizabeth (2001). Salminen, Matti. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ Alifrosti, Kari (1996). "Salon ja Uskelan historia 1869-1990", Salon Kaupunki. ISBN 951-96152-1-0.
  9. ^ "Nokia's New Mobile Phones Factory Opened in Salo - Nokia". Nokia. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Lines go silent in Finnish town of Salo as Microsoft shuts Nokia phone". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Nokia layoffs have big impact on small town in Finland". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Microsoft has crushed the economic hopes of Finland's Salo as it closes its Nokia plant and jeopardises 1,100 jobs". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Hyperloop between Finland, Sweden would cost €19bn". Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  14. ^ "Kahdenkeskiset kaupunkisuhteet" (in Finnish). City of Salo. Retrieved 22 August 2019.

Photo galleryEdit

External linksEdit