Regions of Finland

Buy data    Donate


The system of NUTS codes for Finland was updated in 2010.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For Finland, this update assigns ISO codes to the regions.

Update 4 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2011-04-30. It removes East Uusimaa from the list of regions.

Update 1 to the U.S. standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" is dated 2010-08-20. It assigns FIPS codes to the twenty new regions.

ISO 3166-1 Newsletter number V-9, dated 2004-02-13, informs us that Åland Islands has been assigned a separate country code AX. In making this change, ISO is simply following the lead of the United Nations Statistics Division, which added Åland to its country list in 2003. Åland has been gaining increasing autonomy from Finland over the decades, but it's not clear whether the U.N.S.D. revision is in response to any specific change in status. The most recent such change that I've found is the third Autonomy Act, with an effective date of 1993-01-01. The preamble to the ISO 3166-1 document states, "The list contains overlaps in those cases where entities are geographically separated from their main entity ... the entities are not mutually exclusive." My policy for this site has been to divide the land area of the world into countries exhaustively and exclusively, following the list of countries in ISO 3166-1. Therefore, I treat Åland as a separate country and not part of Finland.

When "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries" went to press, Finland had just undergone a reorganization. The book contained Finland's new provinces, but the standards had not yet issued new codes for them. The codes first appeared in international standard ISO 3166-2 (1998-12-15) and FIPS PUB 10-4 Change notice 2 (1999-03-01).

Country overview: 

Short nameFINLAND
ISO codeFI
LanguagesFinnish (fi), Swedish (sv)
Time zone+2 ~


Finland was a grand duchy of the Russian Empire in 1900, enjoying a good measure of autonomy. It declared its independence on 1917-07-20. During World War II, Finland and the Soviet Union fought each other. Finland had to make several territorial concessions. Since 1947, Finland's borders have remained intact. Swedish is an official language, but is spoken by a small minority, so names given here are Finnish unless otherwise stated.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Finland
  2. Dutch: Finland, Republiek Finland (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Finland (formal)
  4. Finnish: Suomi, Suomen Tasavalta (formal)
  5. French: Finlande f
  6. German: Finnland n
  7. Icelandic: Finnland
  8. Italian: Finlandia f
  9. Norwegian: Finland, Republikken Finland (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Finlândia, República f da Finlândia f (formal)
  11. Russian: Финляндия, Финляндская Республика (formal)
  12. Spanish: Finlandia, República f de Finlandia f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Finland, Republiken Finland (formal)
  14. Turkish: Finlandiya Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Land of Finns, from Germanic finna: fish scale, since suomu is Finnish for fish scale

Primary subdivisions: 

Finland, as usually understood, is divided into nineteen maakunnat (sing. maakunta, regions; Swedish landskap). One of the regions is Åland. As explained above, Åland has been given a separate country code, so I no longer include it as part of Finland. It is listed in the table here for completeness, but not included in the column totals.

Central FinlandFI.CF08FI24FI19313271,74716,7076,450LSJyväskylä
Central OstrobothniaFI.CO07FI23FI1D51671,0295,2732,036LSKokkola
North KareliaFI.NK13FI30FI1D312166,12917,7636,858ISJoensuu
North OstrobothniaFI.NO14FI31FI1D617386,14435,23613,605OLOulu
North SavoFI.NS15FI33FI1D211248,42316,7716,475ISKuopio
South KareliaFI.SK02FI17FI1C59134,4485,6132,167ESLapeenranta
South OstrobothniaFI.SO03FI18FI19414193,51113,4445,191LSSeinäjoki
South SavoFI.SS04FI19FI1D110156,63213,9865,400ISMikkeli
Southwest FinlandFI.SF19FI34FI1C12461,17710,6634,117LSTurku
Tampere RegionFI.TR11FI28FI1976480,70512,4474,806LSTampere
Total exc. Åland5,298,858302,346116,737
  • Region: English name of region.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from the U.S. government standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes".
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
  • RC: Regional councils numbers from Finland Interior Ministry.
  • Population: 2008-12-31 estimate (using 2009 regional division)
  • Prov: ISO code for former province (see table under Change history).

Postal codes: 

Finland has five-digit postal codes. They don't correlate well with primary subdivisions. For a very approximate correspondence between the first two digits of a postal code and its location, see the table of former provinces under Change history (1960). Postal codes for Finnish addresses can be identified by prefixing them with "FI-". (The prefix "SF-", for Suomi Finland, was used until 1993-01-01. Then "FIN-" was used until 2004.)

Further subdivisions:

See the Sub-regions of Finland page.

Finland (including Åland) is divided into nineteen regional councils, which are subdivided into seutukunnat (sing. seutukunta: sub-regions), which are further subdivided into kaupunki (Swedish stad: urban communes) and kunta (rural communes). The total number of communes has been decreasing, from 475 in 1976 to 452 in 1998 to 348 in 2009.

Eurostat maintains a hierarchical set of subdivisions of all the countries in the European Union for statistical purposes. The system is called NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics). In the case of Finland, there are two NUTS1 areas: Manner-Suomi (continental Finland), coded FI1, and Ahvenanmaa (Åland), coded FI2. At level 2, the country is divided into the five NUTS2 areas shown in the table below. The column headed "Was" shows the codes applied to those same areas before the changes made in 2010. The NUTS3 areas are the regions, with the codes shown in the main table above.

FI19Länsi-Suomi (West Finland)same
FI1BHelsinki-Uusimaapart of FI18
FI1CEtelä-Suomi (South Finland)part of FI18
FI1DPohjois- ja Itä-Suomi (North and East Finland)FI13 and FI1A
FI20Ahvenanmaa (Åland)same

Territorial extent: 

  1. Oulu includes the island of Hailuoto.
  2. Southern Finland includes the island of Haapasaari and other small islands in the Gulf of Finland north of Ostrov Gogland.
  3. Western Finland is separated from Åland by the Skiftet, or Kihti (channel). It includes islands east of the Skiftet and north of Åland up to the midline of the Gulf of Bothnia. Among them are Kimito, Nagu, Bergö, and Vallgrund.
  4. Märkets Fyr, an island in the Baltic Sea, is divided between Sweden and Finland. Finland accidentally built a lighthouse on Swedish territory, so the border was redrawn to exchange equal amounts of land between the two countries.

The UN LOCODE page  for Finland lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names (including old provinces):

  1. Lappi: from Norse Lappland: the land at the end.
  2. Mikkeli: named for the city, which was named for Saint Michael.
  3. Pohjois-Karjala: Karjala (Karelia) comes from Finnish karja: herd.
  4. Turku ja Pori: named for its two main cities (Finnish ja: and). Turku is a word for marketplace in the regional lingua franca.
  5. Uusimaa: Finnish for new land. Its Swedish name, Nyland, means the same.
  6. Vaasa: probably from King Gustavus Vasa I of Sweden (1496-1560), who created the Grand Duchy of Finland.

Change history: 

  1. 1918: Ahvenanmaa split from Turku ja Pori province.
  2. 1921-10: Ahvenanmaa granted autonomous status by a decision of the League of Nations.
  3. 1938: Lappi province split from Oulu province.
  4. 1940-03-12: In peace treaty ending Finnish-Russian War, Finland ceded several border territories to the Soviet Union, including about half of Viipuri province (with the port of Viborg), and part of Kuopio.
  5. 1945: Name of Viipuri province (Viborg in Swedish) changed to Kymi. At this date, Finland consisted of ten läänit (sing. lääni, Swedish län, translated departments or provinces), as listed here.
Turku-Pori536,079631,04922,0158,500Turku, Pori
  • Province: Names in Finnish.
  • Pop-1940: 1940 census (source [11]).
  • Pop-1950: 1950-12-31 census (source [10]).
  • Areas: Source [11] says, "figures for 1945".
  1. 1947: In Paris peace treaty, Finland reaffirmed the cessions of 1940 (some of which it had temporarily reconquered), and ceded more land to the Soviet Union, including the strip of Lappi that had connected Finland to the Arctic Ocean around Petsamo.
  2. 1960-03-01: Pohjois-Karjala province split from Kuopio; Keski-Suomi province formed from parts of Häme, Kuopio, Mikkeli, and Vaasa. At this point, the divisions were as follows.
HämeHFI02658,563688,35519,1047,376HämeenlinnaSouthern, Western11-19, 30-39
KymiRFI05345,627335,09312,8284,953KouvolaSouthern45-49, 53-56, 59
MikkeliMFI07209,740207,87521,6608,363MikkeliEastern, Southern50-52, 57-58, 76-79
Turku ja PoriTFI10696,872731,79223,8639,214Turku/ÅboWestern20-21, 23-29
12 divisions4,717,7245,054,746338,144130,559
  • Province: except for Ahvenanmaa, which was an autonomous province. Names in Finnish.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Pop-1975: 1975-12-31 census.
  • Pop-1993: 1993 estimate.
  • Capital: Finnish/Swedish names, where different.
  • Now: Modern province(s) in the same area.
  • Pc: Approximate postal code range for province.
  1. 1995-01-01: Finland joined the European Union.
  2. 1997-02: Finland divided into 20 regions, without abolishing the provinces.
  3. 1997-09-01: Finland reorganized into five provinces (shown below) and Åland.
Eastern FinlandFI.ISISFI14603,72460,72023,444Mikkeli
Southern FinlandFI.ESESFI132,037,14734,37813,273Hämeenlinna
Western FinlandFI.LSLSFI151,829,09380,97531,265Turku
6 provinces5,121,957336,591129,958
  • Province: English name of province.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix
    "FI-" to the code (ex: FI-OL represents Oulu).
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Population: 1997-12-31 estimate
  1. 2004-02-13: ISO 3166-1 Newsletter number V-9 assigned a separate country code to Åland Islands. According to my criteria, this makes them no longer part of Finland.
  2. 2010-01-01: The provinces of Finland were abolished. The already existing 20 regions became the new primary subdivisions.
  3. 2011-01-01: Eastern Uusimaa region merged with Uusimaa. Its former codes were HASC FI.EU, FIPS FI21, NUTS FI182, RC 3; its 2008 population was 93,491, and its area was 2,736 km². Its capital was Porvoo. The HASC code for Uusimaa was FI.UU before the merge.

Other names of subdivisions: 


  1. Åland: Ahvenanmaa (Finnish); Åland Islands (variant)
  2. Central Finland: Finlande centrale (French); Keski-Suomi (Finnish); Mellersta Finland (Swedish)
  3. Central Ostrobothnia: Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish); Mellersta Österbotten (Swedish); Ostrobotnie centrale (French)
  4. East Uusimaa: Itä-Uusimaa (Finnish); Östra Nyland (Swedish)
  5. Kainuu: Kajanaland (Swedish)
  6. Kanta-Häme: Häme, Tavastia Proper (variant); Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish)
  7. Kymenlaakso: Kymmenedalen (Swedish)
  8. Lapland: Laponia (Spanish); Lapônia (Portuguese); Laponie (French); Lappi (Finnish); Lappland (Icelandic, Swedish); Лапландия (Russian)
  9. North Karelia: Carelia del Norte (Spanish); Carélie du Nord (French); Norra Karelen (Swedish); Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish)
  10. North Ostrobothnia: Norra Österbotten (Swedish); Ostrobotnie du Nord (French); Oulu Region (variant); Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish)
  11. North Savo: North Savonia (variant); Pohjois-Savo (Finnish); Norra Savolax (Swedish)
  12. Ostrobothnia: Österbotten (Swedish); Ostrobotnie (French); Pohjanmaa, Vaasan Rannikkoseutu (Finnish); Vaasa Coastal (variant)
  13. Päijät-Häme: Päijänne Tavastia (variant); Päijänne Tavastland (Swedish)
  14. Satakunta: Satakunda (Swedish)
  15. South Karelia: Etelä-Karjala (Finnish); Södra Karelen (Swedish)
  16. South Ostrobothnia: Etelä-Pohjanmaa (Finnish); Ostrobotnie du Sud (French); Södra Österbotten (Swedish)
  17. South Savo: Etelä-Savo (Finnish); Södra Savolax (Swedish); South Savonia (variant)
  18. Southwest Finland: Egentliga Finland (Swedish); Finland Proper (variant); Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish)
  19. Tampere Region: Birkaland (Swedish); Pirkanmaa (Finnish)
  20. Uusimaa: Nyland (Icelandic, Swedish)

provinces of 1997:

  1. Eastern Finland: Itä-Suomen lääni (Finnish); Östra Finlands län (Swedish)
  2. Lapland: Lapin lääni, Lappi (Finnish); Laponia (Spanish); Lapônia (Portuguese); Laponie (French); Lappland (Icelandic); Lapplands län (Swedish); Sápmi (Saame)
  3. Oulu: Oulun lääni (Finnish); Uleåborgs län (Swedish)
  4. Southern Finland: Etelä-Suomen lääni (Finnish); Södra Finlands län (Swedish)
  5. Western Finland: Länsi-Suomen lääni (Finnish); Västra Finlands län (Swedish)

provinces of 1960:

  1. Häme: Hämeen lääni (Finnish); Tavaste (French); Tavastehus län (Swedish); Tavastland (English)
  2. Keski-Suomi: Central Finland (English); Finlande centrale (French); Keski-Suomen lääni (Finnish); Mellersta Finlands län (Swedish)
  3. Kuopio: Kuopio län (Swedish); Kuopion lääni (Finnish)
  4. Kymi: Kymen lääni (Finnish); Kymmene län (Swedish); Viborg (Swedish-obsolete); Viipuri (obsolete)
  5. Mikkeli: Mikkelin lääni (Finnish); Saint Michels län (Swedish)
  6. Pohjois-Karjala: Carelia del Norte (Spanish); Carélie du Nord (French); North Karelia (English); Pohjois-Karjalan lääni (Finnish); Norra Karelens län (Swedish)
  7. Turku ja Pori: Turku et Pori (French); Turku-Pori, Turun ja Porin lääni (Finnish); Åbo-Björneborg, Åbo och Björneborgs län (Swedish)
  8. Uusimaa: Nyland (Icelandic); Nylands län (Swedish); Uudenmaan lääni (Finnish)
  9. Vaasa: Vaasan lääni (Finnish); Vasa län (Swedish); Wasa (obsolete)


  1. [1] Toponymic Guidelines for Map Editors and Other Editors: Finland . United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, New York, 2004; revised 2009 (retrieved 2010-01-30)
  2. [2] Statistics Finland 's interactive page for querying the population database (retrieved 2010-01-30)
  3. [3] Reform Project for Regional Administration  (retrieved 2010-01-30)
  4. [4] National Land Survey of Finland  has a file showing areas of all municipalities and regions (retrieved 2010-01-30)
  5. [5] "Suomen Tilastollinen Vuosikirja 1991" (Finland statistical yearbook)
  6. [6] Bennett, Robert, ed., Territory and Administration in Europe. Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1989
  7. [7] Fourth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, Vol. II, United Nations, New York, 1987
  8. [8] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  9. [9] Valtioneuvosto päätti Uudenmaan ja Itä-Uudenmaan maakuntien yhdistämisestä  (Google Translate interprets this as "Government decides on Uusimaa and Eastern Uusimaa Regional integration"; dated 2009-10-22, retrieved 2011-09-11).
  10. [10] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  11. [11] Webster's Geographical Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam, Springfield, MA, 1957.
  12. [12] 1979 Demographic Yearbook , 31st Ed. Statistical Office, United Nations, New York, 1980 (retrieved 2011-12-28).
Back to main statoids page Last updated: 2015-11-05
Copyright © 1999-2005, 2010, 2011, 2013-2015 by Gwillim Law.