The rural municipality Höganäs, in which the first municipalsamhälle (a kind of borough managing matters of urban character) of Sweden had been established in 1875, received the title of a city in 1936. In 1967 it was merged with Väsby. The present municipality was created with the reform in 1971 when the city was amalgamated with Brunnby and Jonstorp.
The Kullen Lighthouse, the most powerful lighthouse in Scandinavia, is located on the western point of Kullaberg. The nature reserve is also home to a series of wooden structures along the coastline, which were begun by artist by Lars Vilks in 1980, and which have become known as Nimis. This is a tourist attraction despite being unauthorised by the Swedish authorities and therefore not marked on maps or signposted.
In the late 1800s, a few thousand people from Hoganas emigrated to Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. John Jeppson, a native of Hoganas, founded Norton Company. Norton remains the world leader in the manufacture of high-performance ceramics, such as abrasive wheels and sandpaper. It is now owned by a French company, Saint-Gobain. The "Norton Spirit" still lives on in a strong commitment to strengthening the community and treating all employees as valuable, regardless of their ethnic background. Swedish immigrants from Hoganas and other nearby villages have made major contributions to the Worcester, MA, a modern education and biotech center.