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Greater Helsinki
Helsingin seutu – Helsingforsregionen
Metropolitan area
Helsinki skyline
Helsinki skyline
Sub-regionHelsinki sub-region
Capital areaHelsinki capital region
 • Land3,698.99 km2 (1,428.19 sq mi)
 • Total1,583,038
 • Density428/km2 (1,110/sq mi)
 • Metro€105.831 billion (2022)
WebsiteHelsinki Region Trends

Greater Helsinki (Finnish: Suur-Helsinki, Swedish: Storhelsingfors) or Helsinki metropolitan area (Finnish: Helsingin seutu, Swedish: Helsingforsregionen) is the metropolitan area around Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. It also includes the smaller capital region. The terms Helsinki metropolitan area, Greater Helsinki, Capital region and the other terms used are not fixed and may vary in different contexts.

The Helsinki metropolitan region is the largest urbanised area in the country with approximately 1.58 million inhabitants (2023)[2] and is by far the most important economic, cultural, and scientific region of Finland. Five out of Finland's 14 universities,[note 1] and six universities of applied sciences, and most of the headquarters of notable companies and governmental institutions are located in Greater Helsinki, as is Finland's main airline hub and airport, Helsinki Airport, which is located in Vantaa.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

These regions are located in the south of Finland, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, which is part of the Baltic Sea. They area a part of the region of Uusimaa.


Capital Region

Main article: Helsinki capital region

In the strictest sense, the Finnish capital region consists of four municipalities with city title, Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen. It has a population of about 1.25 million. This area is most often called the Capital region in English, Pääkaupunkiseutu in Finnish, and Huvudstadsregionen in Swedish, although the use of the terms is not especially consistent. The vast majority of the inhabitants live in the urban areas of the cities, but within the boundaries of these cities there are also suburban and rural areas.

Greater Helsinki

Commonly about ten more municipalities are considered to be part of Greater Helsinki, as they can be considered to be commuter towns and exurbs of Helsinki. When Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Tuusula, Mäntsälä, Pornainen and Vihti are included, the number of inhabitants rises to 1.58 million. All of the municipalities belong to the region of Uusimaa. Of these, Järvenpää, Kerava, Tuusula, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Kirkkonummi, Mäntsälä and Vihti have parts of the urban area within them. Additionally, the cities of Porvoo, Lohja, Karkkila and to some extent Riihimäki, which have very close ties, motorway and, in the case of Riihimäki, commuter train accesses, and are fairly close to the capital, are nowadays often included in regional planning, which raises the total population to about 1.72 million.

Helsinki sub-region

Main article: Helsinki sub-region

Helsinki metropolitan area differs from the Helsinki sub-region (Finnish: Helsingin seutukunta), which also includes the municipalities of Karkkila, Lohja and Siuntio. The Helsinki sub-region is used for statistical purposes. It is based on cooperation between municipalities and the commuting area. The sub-region has a population of about 1.64 million.

Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly

The Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly is a cooperative body of the municipalities of the Helsinki Region, whose members are the leading elected representatives of the municipalities. Seventeen municipalities participate in cooperation in the Helsinki Region:[9]

The common goal of the participating municipalities is to develop cooperation and advocacy. The cooperation is based on the common vision of the municipalities in the Helsinki region regarding the challenges facing the region and the common will to contribute to the development of the region.[9]

Other definitions

As a part of the "Urban audit" project, Eurostat has attempted to standardise the concept of a 'metropolitan area'. According to this study the Metropolitan area of Helsinki consists of the kernel of Helsinki: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. The Helsinki Larger Urban Area (Helsingin seutu in Finnish) consists of 12 cities and municipalities: the kernel of Helsinki and the aforementioned eight municipalities.[10]

Statistics Finland define the commuter belt of Helsinki (Helsingin työssäkäyntialue, Helsingfors pendlingsområde) to include a total of 27 municipalities and a population of 1.77 million.[11][12] In addition to that, there are people from as far as Lahti and even Tampere commuting to Helsinki daily.

Statistics Finland also defines the Helsinki urban area according to the official Finnish definion of an urban area (taajama in Finnish). Urban areas in Finland are defined as inhabited areas of at least 200 people with a maximum distance of 200 metres (660 ft) between buildings.[13][14] The Helsinki urban area is the largest of its kind in Finland, and encompasses land throughout Greater Helsinki, with notable gaps around forests and other less-densely populated areas.

The commuter towns of Lohja and Porvoo are not usually included to the Helsinki metropolitan area, though, if they were (considering their proximity to Helsinki and their high commuting rate), they would raise the overall population almost two million people. Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Nurmijärvi, Tuusula, Mäntsälä and Pornainen, which have been designated as municipalities in Central Uusimaa in recent decades, have shown clear population growth due to their urban but also loose rural environment. These are also known as "Kuuma-kunnat" (literally means "hot municipalities").[15]


Coat of
Municipality Population Land area
Coat of arms of Espoo Espoo 314,152 312 1,006 70 % 6 % 21 %
Coat of arms of Helsinki Helsinki 674,963 214 3,148 75 % 5 % 18 %
Coat of arms of Hyvinkää Hyvinkää 46,903 323 145 92 % 1 % 7 %
Coat of arms of Järvenpää Järvenpää 46,475 38 1,238 90 % 1 % 7 %
Coat of arms of Kauniainen Kauniainen 10,277 6 1,745 59 % 31 % 10 %
Coat of arms of Kerava Kerava 38,227 31 1,248 83 % 1 % 14 %
Coat of arms of Kirkkonummi Kirkkonummi 41,160 367 112 73 % 15 % 11 %
Coat of arms of Mäntsälä Mäntsälä 20,950 581 36 94 % 1 % 5 %
Coat of arms of Nurmijärvi Nurmijärvi 44,773 362 124 91 % 1 % 7 %
Coat of arms of Pornainen Pornainen 4,975 147 34 95 % 2 % 4 %
Coat of arms of Sipoo Sipoo 22,590 340 67 64 % 28 % 6 %
Coat of arms of Tuusula Tuusula 41,334 220 188 89 % 1 % 7 %
Coat of arms of Vantaa Vantaa 247,447 238 1,038 72 % 2 % 24 %
Coat of arms of Vihti Vihti 28,812 522 55 92 % 2 % 7 %
Total 1,583,038 3,699 428 77 % 5 % 17 %


In 2020 Helsinki's gross metropolitan product was €94.2 billion (US$100 billion). This puts Helsinki in 23rd place among cities in European Union.[16]

See also


  1. ^ These are Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, the University of the Arts Helsinki, the Hanken School of Economics, and the National Defence University.
  2. ^ The official Finnish and Swedish conventions use the term "capital" (Finnish: pääkaupunkiseudun kaupungit, Swedish: huvudstadsregionens städer), although the unofficial English translation uses the term "metropolitan".


  1. ^ "Gross domestic product (GDP) at current market prices by metropolitan regions". ec.europa.eu.
  2. ^ "Immigration record high in Finland in 2023". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  3. ^ "Campuses - Laurea University of Applied Sciences". www.laurea.fi. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  4. ^ "About Haaga-Helia | Haaga-Helia". www.haaga-helia.fi. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  5. ^ "Helsinki". Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  6. ^ "Campuses | Our campuses create an attractive learning environment". www.metropolia.fi. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  7. ^ "On campus your future starts now! | Arcada". www.arcada.fi. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  8. ^ "Humak University of Applied Sciences".
  9. ^ a b "Helsinki Region Cooperation Assembly". Information of Helsinki. City of Helsinki. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  10. ^ http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/dsis/urbstat/library?l=/urban_audit_reports/urban_audit_2006/final_reportpdf_18/_EN_1.0_&a=d[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Statistics Finland; The correspondence table between municipalities and travel-to-work areas in 2023
  12. ^ National Land Survey of Finland; pdf-file 'Pinta-alatilasto', downloadable from page. Archived 2011-05-20 at archive.today Areas of municipalities in Finland. Accessed on 2008-09-08.
  13. ^ "Taajamissa asuu 84 prosenttia väestöstä". Statistics Finland (in Finnish). 15 January 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  14. ^ Facta (encyclopedia) part 16, page 203, finnish
  15. ^ Kuuma.fi
  16. ^ "EU regions by GDP, Eurostat".