Sonkajärvi is a municipality of Finland.

Sonkajärven kunta
Sonkajärvi kommun
Coat of arms of Sonkajärvi
Coat of arms
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
Location of Sonkajärvi in Finland
Coordinates: 63°40′N 27°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517Coordinates: 63°40′N 27°31′E / 63.667°N 27.517°E / 63.667; 27.517
Country Finland
RegionNorthern Savonia
Sub-regionUpper Savonia
 • Municipal managerSimo Mäkinen
 • Total1,576.78 km2 (608.80 sq mi)
 • Land1,465.91 km2 (565.99 sq mi)
 • Water110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi)
Area rank44th largest in Finland
 • Total3,813
 • Rank200th largest in Finland
 • Density2.6/km2 (7/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish99.6% (official)
 • Swedish0.1%
 • Others0.4%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1412.2%
 • 15 to 6453.4%
 • 65 or older34.5%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]21.25%

It is located in Northern Savonia region. The municipality has a population of 3,813 (31 March 2021)[2] and covers an area of 1,576.78 square kilometres (608.80 sq mi) of which 110.86 km2 (42.80 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 2.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (6.7/sq mi).

Neighbouring municipalities are Iisalmi, Kajaani, Lapinlahti, Rautavaara, Sotkamo and Vieremä.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

The municipality was founded in 1922. Before it Sonkajärvi was a part of Iisalmen maalaiskunta.

Wife carrying competitionEdit

Sonkajärvi has gained a worldwide fame for Wife Carrying (Finnish: akankanto or eukonkanto) which is an alternative sport of carrying women. The first Wife Carrying World Championship dates to 1994, but the creation of the contest, apart from its humorous aspects, has deep roots in the local history. In the late 19th century there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in his troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

In the Wife Carrying competition each team has one male and one female member, the objective being for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track. The basic rules are that the woman must be over 17 years of age and have a weight of at least 49 kilograms (108 lb). If she is below that weight, she must be burdened with such a heavy rucksack so that the total weight to be carried by the man is at least 49 kilograms. The only equipment allowed is a belt worn by the carrier. The track in Sonkanjärvi used annually for the World Championship is exactly 253.5 metres (832 ft) long.


There are 204 lakes in the area of Sonkajärvi. Biggest of them are Laakajärvi, Sälevä and Kiltuanjärvi.[6]

Unique nature sightsEdit

There are unique nature sights in the municipality of Sonkajärvi, for example the northernmost in Finland reliably confirmed habitats of wild Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) in the vicinity of the lake of Kangaslampi, 63° 45′ N and near the hill of Salmisenmäki, 63° 43′ 42" N.[7][8][9]

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Well known people from SonkajärviEdit


  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*-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. ^ Jarviwiki Sonkajärvi. Retrieved 2014-03-05. (in English)
  7. ^ Ylä-Savon Instituutti - Sonkajärven luonto. (in Finnish) (PDF).
  8. ^ NatureGate: Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) (in English)
  9. ^ Helsingin yliopisto. Kasviatlas. Suomen putkilokasvien levinneisyyskartasto. Metsälehmus (Tilia cordata) (in Finnish)
  10. ^ "Sõprusvallad" (in Estonian). Väike-Maarja vald. Retrieved 21 March 2011.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Sonkajärvi at Wikimedia Commons