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Map of Greater Helsinki (light green) and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (dark green).
Central Helsinki, the focal point of the Capital Region, from the sky.

Greater Helsinki (Finnish: Helsingin seutu, Suur-Helsinki, Swedish: Helsingforsregionen, Storhelsingfors) and the smaller Helsinki Metropolitan Area or (Finnish) Capital Region (Pääkaupunkiseutu, Huvudstadsregionen) refer to two regions of different size surrounding Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Greater Helsinki is sometimes incorrectly called (the) Helsinki Region due to an incorrect direct translation of the Finnish and Swedish terms Helsingin seutu and Helsingforsregionen. (Suur-Helsinki and Storhelsingfors are sometimes also used to refer to the metropolitan area.)

These regions are located in the south of Finland, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, which is part of the Baltic Sea. The smaller region includes Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, and Kauniainen and has a population of about one million. The Helsinki region is the largest urbanised area in the country, and is by far the most important economic, cultural, as well as scientific region of Finland. Eight out of Finland's 20 universities and most of the headquarters of notable companies and governmental institutions are located in Greater Helsinki, as is Finland's main aviation hub, Helsinki-Vantaa airport, which is located in Vantaa.



In the strictest sense, the Finnish Capital Region consists of four municipalities with city status, Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen, whose total population is about one million (2007). This area is most often called the Helsinki Metropolitan Area or Capital region in English, Pääkaupunkiseutu in Finnish, and Huvudstadsregionen in Swedish, although the use of the terms is not especially consistent. Sometimes it is called the "YTV area", referring to YTV, or the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council, which serves as a co-operation agency for the four central municipalities, mainly providing for regional public transport and waste management services. The vast majority of the inhabitants live in the urban areas of the cities, but within the boundaries of these cities there are also non-urban and suburban areas.

Commonly about eight more municipalities are considered to be part of Greater Helsinki, as they can be considered as commuter towns and exurbs of Helsinki. When Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Tuusula, and Vihti are included, the number of inhabitants rises to 1.2 million. All of the municipalities belong to the region of Uusimaa, with the exception of Sipoo, located on the coast east of Vantaa, which belongs to Eastern Uusimaa.

Statistics Finland define the commuter belt of Helsinki (Helsingin työssäkäyntialue, Helsingfors pendlingsområde) to include a total of 24 municipalities, with a land area of 7,359.80 km2 and a population of 1,431,108 as of 31 December 2007.[1][2] In addition to that, there are people from as far as Lahti and even Tampere commuting to Helsinki daily.


The table below lists population, area, and population density for the largest municipalities of the Greater Helsinki area. (Note that "Helsinki Metropolitan Area" and the other terms used are not firmly established and may vary in different contexts.)

Municipality Area Population
Population density
Helsinki (Helsingfors) 213 km² 583,484 2,739.36/km²
Espoo (Esbo) 312.22 km² 244,353 782.63/km²
Vantaa (Vanda) 238.38 km² 197,663 829.19/km²
Kauniainen (Grankulla) 5.88 km² 8,606 1,463.61/km²
Helsinki Metropolitan Area 769.48 km² 1,034,106 1,343.9/km²
Hyvinkää (Hyvinge) 322.64 km² 45,286 140.36/km²
Järvenpää (Träskända) 37.59 km² 38,707 1,029.72/km²
Kerava (Kervo) 30.62 km² 33,834 1,104.96/km²
Kirkkonummi (Kyrkslätt) 366.08 km² 36,503 99.71/km²
Nurmijärvi 361.85 km² 39,630 109.52/km²
Sipoo (Sibbo) 339.64 km² 18,047 53.14/km²
Tuusula (Tusby) 219.57 km² 36,767 167.45/km²
Vihti (Vichtis) 522.07 km² 27,875 53.39/km²
Mäntsälä 580.94 km² 19,753 34/km²
Outer municipalities 2,781 km² 296,402 106.58/km²
Greater Helsinki, total 3,550.48 km² 1,330,508 374.74/km²

See also


External links

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