Southwest Finland

Southwest Finland

Varsinais-Suomen maakunta
landskapet Egentliga Finland
Coat of arms of Southwest Finland
Coat of arms
Finland Proper on a map of Finland
Finland Proper on a map of Finland
Country Finland
Historical province Finland Proper
Capital Turku
 • Total 10,910.05 km2 (4,212.39 sq mi)
 • Total 479,341
 • Density 44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 code FI-19
NUTS 183
Regional animal Red fox
Regional bird Western jackdaw
Regional fish Baltic herring
Regional flower Oak
Regional lake Pyhäjärvi

Southwest Finland,[1] calqued as Finland Proper (Finnish: Varsinais-Suomi; Swedish: Egentliga Finland), is a region in the southwest of Finland. It borders the regions of Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Tavastia Proper (Kanta-Häme), Uusimaa, and Åland. The region's capital and most populous city is medieval Turku, which was known as former capital city of Finland before Helsinki.

The area comprising the Southwest is largely the same as the historical province of Finland Proper, so named because it is the original home of the tribe known as the Finns.

Origin of the name Finland Proper

The name of Finland Proper has a historical function. In historic times, in the area of the present Southern Finland lived three tribes, which were the Finns, the Tavastians and the Karelians. The southwestern part of the country, the province where the Finns lived, was called simply Finland (Finnish: Suomi). In the 17th century the name began to be used to refer to the whole land and a specified name for the lesser Finland was required. The first notes Fennigia specialiter dicta and Fennigia presse dicta were recorded in Latin in the 1650s and the Swedish Finland för sig sielft and Egenteliga Finland later in the 18th century the modern form Egentliga Finland being in official use at the end of the century. The Finnish term Varsinais-Suomi became established only around the 1850s.[2]


Southwest Finland's nature differs from other regions. The most notable biotopes are the Archipelago Sea and groves. 80% of Finland's insect species can be found in Southwest Finland.[3] There are around 20,000 islands near the coast.[4]

The southernmost point of Southwest Finland and the southernmost inhabited island is Utö.[5] Its highest point is 164 meters in Kiikala.[6]

Aurajoki is one of the most notable rivers in Finland.

Historical provinces


Southwest Finland sub-regions, towns and municipalities

The region of Southwest Finland is made up of 27 municipalities, of which 11 have city status (marked in bold).


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1980 406,360 —    
1985 415,899 +2.3%
1990 425,282 +2.3%
1995 435,119 +2.3%
2000 447,103 +2.8%
2005 455,584 +1.9%
2010 465,183 +2.1%
2015 474,323 +2.0%
2018 478,582 +0.9%
Source: Statistics Finland

As of 2018, Southwest Finland had an population of 478,582, making it the third most populated Finnish region after Uusimaa and Pirkanmaa. 87.18% speak Finnish, 5.67% Swedish and 7.15% speak other languages, the most common being Russian, Estonian, Arabic, Kurdish and Albanian.

It has the most summer cottages out of any Finnish region, with 49,000 as of 2012.[8]

Nationality [9]
31 December 2017
1  Finland 444,171
2  Soviet Union 5,801
3  Estonia 4,079
4  Albania 3,148
5  Sweden 2,746
6  Yugoslavia 2,714
7  Iran 1,855
8  Iraq 1,590
9  Vietnam 938
10  Macedonia 874
11  Poland 842
12  Ukraine 834
13  China 774
14  Afghanistan 679
15  Romania 679
16  Germany 511
17  United Kingdom 436
18  Turkey 428
19  Syria 425
20  Bosnia and Herzegovina 394


Results of the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election in Southwest Finland:


The region uses the coat of arms of the historical province of Finland Proper.

Image gallery