Administrative divisions of Finland

Description

Municipalities and regions map of Finland (2007).
Black borders refer to municipalities, red to regions.

Municipalities (which may also call themselves towns or cities) account for half of public spending. Spending is financed by municipal income tax, state subsidies, and other revenue. As of 2016, there were 311 municipalities, and most were under 5,000 residents. For comparison, Denmark has set a minimum size of 30,000 residents. In Finland, state has started the Municipality and Service Structure Reform Program to reform the complex and expensive municipal system, but initiatives have encountered much opposition from local bureaucrats and interest groups. People often identify with their municipality. Government's local administrative duties are performed by the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

In addition to municipalities, there are complex other arrangements. Municipalities co-operate in seventy-four sub-regions and twenty regions. These are governed by the member municipalities. The Åland region has a permanent, democratically elected regional council, as a part of the autonomy. In the Kainuu region, there is a pilot project underway, with regional elections. Sami people have a semi-autonomous Sami Domicile Area in Lapland for issues on language and culture.

Further information: List of Finnish municipalities and Former municipalities of Finland
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