Northern Forum member - Lapland



Lapland Mika Riipi

Mika Riipi


Contact Person

Lapland Kristiina Jokelainen

Kristiina Jokelainen

The capital city of Lapland, Finland: Rovaniemi.


Lapland is the. largest and northernmost region of Finland. The area of Lapland region is 100,367 km², which consists of 92,667 km² of dry land, 6,316 km² fresh water and 1,383 km² of sea areas. In south it borders Northern Ostrobothnia region, in west Sweden, in north and west Norway and in east Russia.

Lapland's cold and wintry climate, coupled with the relative abundance of conifer trees such as pines and spruces means that it has become associated with Christmas in some countries, most notably the United Kingdom


Coat of Arms




Over the centuries the history of Lapland has been characterised by countless struggles by greater powers, notably Denmark–Norway and Sweden–Finland, for domination. Lapland’s rich natural resources proved alluring as early as the Viking period. However, it is perhaps in more modern times – particularly during and after World War II, when large tracts of Lapland were destroyed and seemingly every building burnt to the ground as occupying Nazi forces implemented their scorched earth policy as they retreated south – that the world became aware of Lapland and its fate.

Ninety percent of Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, was burned to the ground, with only a few pre-war buildings surviving the destruction. The resettling of refugees who had fled the fighting only to return to discover their homes reduced to piles of rubble and the rebuilding of an entire region’s infrastructure after the war proved some of the toughest challenges Lapland has ever faced.



Lapland’s unique geographical position has produced a highly distinctive natural history. The range of flora and fauna is not huge but it is certainly impressive. Whether it is whales or reindeer, eagles or the three-toed woodpecker, you are likely to encounter some unusual wildlife as befits the unusual terrain. The landscape varies from tundra to lush river valleys with heavily forested hills, fells and swamps in between.

Lapland is the home of about 3.4% of Finland's population, and is by far the least densely populated area in the country. The biggest towns in Lapland are Rovaniemi (the regional capital), Tornio, and Kemi. In 2011, Lapland had a population of 183,320 of whom 177,950 spoke Finnish, 1,526 spoke Sami, 387 spoke Swedish and 3,467 spoke some other languages as their mother language.Of the Sami languages, Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami are spoken in the region.

Lapland's population has been in decline since 1990.



Lapland has the only chrome mine and the largest gold mine in EU. The biggest and the most modern forest and mining industrial concentration in EU.

There are eight national parks in Lapland:



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