Southwest Finland
Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish)
Egentliga Finland (Swedish)
Finland Proper
Region of Finland Proper
Varsinais-Suomen maakunta
Landskapet Egentliga Finland
Coat of arms of Southwest Finland
Finland Proper on a map of Finland
Finland Proper on a map of Finland
Historical provinceFinland Proper
 • Total10,910.05 km2 (4,212.39 sq mi)
 • Total485,567
 • Density45/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeFI-19
Regional animalRed fox
Regional birdWestern jackdaw
Regional fishBaltic herring
Regional flowerOak
Regional stoneRed granite
Regional lakePyhäjärvi

Southwest Finland,[1] calqued as Finland Proper (Finnish: Varsinais-Suomi [ˈʋɑrs̠inɑi̯s̠ˌs̠uo̞̯mi]; 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 Turku, which was the 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 proper.

Origin of the name Finland Proper

The seal of Finland Proper from 1326

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 proper, the Tavastians and the Karelians. The southwestern part of the country, the province where the Finns proper lived, was simply called 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 was in official use at the end of the century, and 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

Main article: Finland Proper (historical province)


Southwest Finland sub-regions, towns and municipalities

Main article: Municipalities of Southwest Finland

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


Historical population
Source: Statistics Finland

As of 2020, Southwest Finland had a population of 481,403, making it the third most populated Finnish region after Uusimaa and Pirkanmaa. 86.45% speak Finnish, 5.68% Swedish and 7.86% 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.[7]

Significant foreign resident groups [8]
31 December 2020
1  Soviet Union 6,153
2  Estonia 4,092
3  Iraq 3,775
4  Yugoslavia 2,934
5  Iran 1,964
6  Somalia 1,807
7  Vietnam 1,023
8  Romania 960
9  Poland 948
10  Thailand 914
11  Afghanistan 834
12  China 816
13  Russia 757
14  Syria 669
15  Turkey 624
16  Germany 555
17  Ukraine 550
18  Sweden 511
19  United Kingdom 477
20  Latvia 458


Results of the 2023 Finnish parliamentary election in Southwest Finland:


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

See also


  1. ^ "Alueluokitusmuutokset 1.1.2019 | Tilastokeskus" [Changes in regional classification on 1 January 2019] (in Finnish). 7 January 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  2. ^ Suomalainen paikannimikirja. Jyväskylä: Gummerus. 2007. ISBN 978-951-593-976-0.
  3. ^ "Essay Writing Help at Its Finest".
  4. ^ "Saaristoon – Saaristoon". Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  5. ^ Turun Sanomat
  6. ^ "Hyypp r nharju, Kultal hde ja S r m ki - Salon kaupunki". Archived from the original on 6 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Tiesitkö tätä kesämökeistä? 10 faktaa".
  8. ^ Statistics Finland

Finland Proper travel guide from Wikivoyage