Kainuu on a map of Finland
|• Total||24,452.85 km2 (9,441.30 sq mi)|
|• Density||3.3/km2 (8.5/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|ISO 3166 code||FI-05|
|Regional bird||Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus)|
|Regional fish||European smelt (Osmerus eperlanus)|
|Regional flower||Heather (Calluna vulgaris)|
Kainuu (Swedish: Kajanaland; Russian: Кайнуу) is a region (maakunta / landskap) of Finland. It borders the regions of Northern Ostrobothnia, North Karelia and Northern Savonia. In the east it also borders Russia. Kainuu is known in the ancient Norse sagas as Kvenland.
The administrative capital is Kajaani. Kainuu had 79 984 inhabitants in turn of years 2013 and 2014. The population is in decline. The nature of Kainuu features forested hills, lakes and vast expanses of uninhabited woods at its most typical — 95% of the land area is forest. The climate is continental.
Original inhabitants of Kainuu were Sami hunter-fisherers. In the 17th century, the Governor General of Finland Per Brahe fostered the population growth of Kainuu by giving a ten year tax exemption to settlers. It was important for the Monarchy of Sweden to expand its influence on this border area earlier annexed from Russia by populating Kainuu with Finnish farmers because the area was threatened to be populated by the Orthodox Karelians living under the Russian rule. The immigrants to Kainuu were mainly from Savo and because of that the Kainuu dialect is very close to the Savo dialect.
Currently the population is in decline mainly because the traditional livelihood is agriculture which is not very profitable any more in that region.
The economy of Kainuu is also driven by the lumber industry, which employs 8% of the workforce in the region. In addition, Kainuu Brigade, a base of the Finnish Defence Forces, is located near Kajaani.
For history, geography and culture see: Ostrobothnia
For origin of the name Kainuu see: Origin of the name Kainuu
Kainuu has nine municipalities.
A new, democratically elected organ, the regional council (maakuntavaltuusto), was tested in Kainuu in 2005-2015. The municipalities in Finland are independent, but this independence has been questioned as health care, among other responsibilities of the municipalities, is difficult to govern on such a small scale. The municipalities in Kainuu tested a model, where health care and some other services were produced on the regional level. The administrative experiment ended on December 31st 2012 but its results may still be seen in the organisations involved.
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