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Espoo ( ; , )) is the second largest city and municipality in Finlandmarker. The population of the city of Espoo is ( ). It is part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area along with the cities of Helsinkimarker (Helsingfors), Vantaamarker (Vanda), and Kauniainenmarker (Grankulla). Espoo shares its eastern border with Helsinki and Vantaa, while enclosing Kauniainen. Today, Espoo is the only municipality in Finland to fully enclose another municipality. City is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finlandmarker, in the province of Southern Finlandmarker and in the region of Uusimaamarker.

Other bordering municipalities of Espoo are Nurmijärvimarker and Vihtimarker in the north and Kirkkonummimarker (Kyrkslätt) in the west. The national park of Nuuksiomarker (Noux) is situated in northwest Espoo.

Espoo encompasses , of which is land.

Espoo has several local regional centers. Espoo is thus divided into seven major areas ( , ): Vanha-Espoo (Gamla Esbo, with administrative centermarker), Suur-Espoonlahti (Stor-Esboviken), Pohjois-Espoo (Norra Esbo), Suur-Kauklahti (Stor-Köklax), Suur-Leppävaara (Stor-Alberga), Suur-Matinkylä (Stor-Mattby) and Suur-Tapiola (Stor-Hagalund).

The Helsinki University of Technologymarker is based in Otaniemimarker, Espoo, along with a thriving science community that includes numerous startups and organizations such as VTT – the Technical Research Center of Finland. Nokia, the telecommunications company, is headquartered in Keilaniemimarker, Espoo, along with other high-tech companies such as KONE and Fortum.

The city is bilingual, with majority being Finnish and minority Swedish speakers.


The name Espoo probably comes from the Swedish name for the River Espoo, Espå (or Espåå), which in turn comes from the old Swedish word äspe, meaning stand of aspen, and the Swedish word for "river", å. The name was first mentioned in 1431.

The first inhabitants in the area arrived about 9,000 years ago. A permanent settlement was established during the 12th and 13th centuries. The King's Road that passes through Espoo on its way from Stockholmmarker via Turkumarker to Viipurimarker dates back to the 13th century. The oldest preserved building in Espoo, the Espoo Cathedralmarker, originates from the 1480s. The administrative center Espoon keskusmarker has grown around the church and the railway station.

In 1920, Espoo was only a rural municipality of about 9,000 inhabitants, of whom 70% were Swedish speaking. Agriculture was the primary source of income, with 75% of the population making their living from farming. Kauniainenmarker was separated from Espoo in 1920, and it gained city rights the same year as Espoo, in 1972.

Espoo started to grow rapidly in the 1940s and '50s. It quickly developed from a rural municipality into a fully-fledged industrial city, gaining city rights in 1972. Due to its proximity to Helsinki, Espoo soon became popular amongst people working in the capital. In the fifty years from 1950 to 2000, the population of Espoo grew from 22,000 to 210,000. Since 1945, the majority of people in Espoo have been Finnish speaking. In 2006, the Swedish speaking inhabitants represented barely 9% of the total population. The population growth is still continuing, but at a slower rate.


Historical population of Espoo[7348]
Year Population Year Population
1901 5,888 1975 120,632
1910 7,891 1980 137,409
1920 8,817 1985 156,778
1930 11,370 1990 172,629
1940 13,378 1995 193,754
1950 22,878 2000 213,271
1960 53,042 2006 235,019
1970 92,655 2030 (est.) 305,000
Population by grand district (in 2006)
Area Population Area Population
Leppävaara 58,048 Vanha-Espoo 33,613
Espoonlahti 48,649 Pohjois-Espoo 9,754
Tapiola 41,905 Kauklahti 6,191
Matinkylä 33,613

Population by nationality on January 1, 2007 was 95.1% Finnish nationality, 4.9% other nationalities. Religious affiliation was 77.4% Lutheran, 1.3% Orthodox, 1.3% other, 19.9% no religious affiliation.

Espoo contains many high income suburbs, six out of the ten highest average income postal code areas in Finland are in Espoo.


Espoo hosts a Museum of Modern Art called EMMAmarker (Espoo Museum of Modern Art), built in a renovated old print house, the WeeGee housemarker, named after an old book print company Weilin & Göös. The same building hosts also Finland's only Museum of Horology ( , ) and a Toy Museum. In Tapiolamarker ( , is located a Culture House, where numerous concerts, and theater performances are held.

Espoo has several manors of which open to public are two. The most important is Espoon kartano ( , Espoo Manor), mentioned first time in 1495, and belonging to the noble Ramsay family since 1756. The current main building dates from 1914, but a mill dates from the 1750s and Finland oldest walved stone bridge from 1777 is on the King's Road ( , ) which passes by the manor. The main building can be rented for weddings and similar occasions. Guided tours on request for groups. The other manor open to public is Pakankylän kartano ( ), located on the northern shore of Lake Bodommarker. The manor hosts a restaurant and club rooms, partly with original furniture open to the public, but meant original to Kaisankoti sanatory and old people's home located on ground of the manor.

The Melodic Death Metal band Children of Bodom comes from Espoo, Finland. They are named after the unsolved murder known as the Lake Bodom murdersmarker which took place at Lake Bodommarker, a lake in northern Espoo. The bands Norther and Kiuas also come from Espoo.


Espoo is home to several premier league sports teams. The Espoo Blues play at Barona Areenamarker in the SM-Liigaprofessional ice hockey league. The club was established in February 1984 as "Kiekko-Espoo" and played their first season in 1984–1985 in the Finnish Second Division. In 1988 they achieved a place on the Finnish First Division and in 1992 they celebrated their promotion to the SM-liiga. The club and the team changed their name in 1998. The name came from the dominant colour of their home jersey. The full name of the club is Blues Hockey Oy.The Blues are a contender for the title almost every year, but have not ever won the gold medal game. They have won the silver medal several times though. Biggest rival: Oulun Kärpät

Another sports club from Espoo, FC Honka, is a football club based in Tapiolamarker in southern Espoo. It was promoted into the Finnish premier division (Veikkausliiga) for the first time in its history at the end of the 2005 season. The manager of the club is Mika Lehkosuo, and it plays its home matches at Tapiolan urheilupuisto. Originally founded in 1953 as "Tapion Honka", it changed its name into FC Honka in 1975.FC Honka is largely known in Finlandmarker for its extensive youth scheme with over 1000 young players playing in various age groups.

Espoo is the birthplace of 2000 and 2002 World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm, 2007 Formula One Champion Kimi Räikkönen, Dallas Stars forward Jere Lehtinen (three time NHL Selke Trophy winner), former Formula One driver JJ Lehto, and 2009 European Figure Skating Champion Laura Lepistö.


Club Sport League Stadium Logo
FC Honka Football Veikkausliiga Tapiolan urheilupuistomarker
Espoo Blues Ice hockey SM-liiga LänsiAuto Areenamarker
Espoo Blues Ice hockey Women's SM series Laaksolahti Arena
Tapiolan Honka Basketball Korisliiga Tapiolan urheiluhalli
Espoon Oilers Floorball Salibandyliiga Tapiolan urheiluhalli
Uinti-Espoo "Cetus" Swimming - Espoonlahden uimahalli


Image:Fortum HQ, Espoo.jpg|The headquarters of Fortum, located in Keilaniemimarker, EspooImage:Helsinki University of Technology auditorium.jpg|The Helsinki University of Technologymarker, in Otaniemimarker, EspooImage:Nokia HQ.jpg|Nokia world headquarters in Keilaniemi, EspooImage:Espoo districts.png|The 55 districts of EspooImage:Espoon Tapiola kesällä.jpg|Tapiola centre in Espoo during the summerImage:Espoon tuomiokirkko.jpg|Espoo CathedralImage:Leppävaaran juna-asema Espoo Finland.jpg|Leppävaara railway stationImage:Träskända gård.jpg|Träskända Mansion in Espoo

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Espoo is twinned with:

See also


  • Espoon kaupungin taskutilasto 2007, issued by the City of Espoo, 2007


External links

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