The number of local authorities kept increasing until the 1940s, at which time there were about 600 local authorities in Finland. After the Second World War, following the cession of territories and the territorial arrangements related to the peace treaty, the number of local authorities decreased by 51. Since then their number has diminished through voluntary municipal mergers.
Some local authorities use the designation ‘city’. The local council makes the decision about its use. There are no general criteria for the use of this designation, which explains the many differences among Finnish cities.
On these pages we provide information on these differences, both as to the population and area. There is also information about the development of local democracy, and municipal finances. You can also find links to the English language Web sites of Finnish statistics authorities.