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Kemijärven kaupunki
Kemijärvi stad
Kemijärvi Church
Coat of arms of Kemijärvi
Coat of arms
Location of Kemijärvi in Finland
Location of Kemijärvi in Finland
Coordinates: 66°43′N 027°26′E / 66.717°N 27.433°E / 66.717; 27.433Coordinates: 66°43′N 027°26′E / 66.717°N 27.433°E / 66.717; 27.433
Country Finland
Sub-regionEastern Lapland sub-region
City rights1973
 • Town managerAtte Rantanen
 • Total3,930.91 km2 (1,517.73 sq mi)
 • Land3,505.60 km2 (1,353.52 sq mi)
 • Water425.84 km2 (164.42 sq mi)
Area rank13th largest in Finland
 • Total7,289
 • Rank131st largest in Finland
 • Density2.08/km2 (5.4/sq mi)
Population by native language
 • Finnish99.1% (official)
 • Others0.8%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1411.3%
 • 15 to 6461.7%
 • 65 or older26.9%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
Municipal tax rate[5]20%

Kemijärvi (Inari Sami: Kemijävri, Northern Sami: Giemajávri) is a municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Lapland. The municipality has a population of 7,289 (31 July 2020)[2] and covers an area of 3,930.91 square kilometres (1,517.73 sq mi) of which 425.84 km2 (164.42 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 2.08 inhabitants per square kilometre (5.4/sq mi).

Surrounding municipalities are Pelkosenniemi in the north, Salla in the east, Posio in the south and Rovaniemi in the west.

The municipality is unilingually Finnish.

Villages located in the area of the municipality of Kemijärvi are Halosenranta, Hyypiö, Isokylä, Joutsijärvi, Juujärvi, Kallaanvaara, Kostamo, Leväranta, Luusua, Oinas, Perävaara, Ruopsa, Räisälä, Sipovaara, Soppela, Tapionniemi, Tohmo, Ulkuniemi, Varrio and Vuostimo.

The Eastern Lapland area where Kemijärvi is situated is well known for the nearby skiing resorts Suomu, Luosto, Pyhä and Salla, as well as Ruka in Kuusamo region. The beautiful Lake Kemijärvi, next to the city of Kemijärvi, is much appreciated as a place to visit during summertime. Lake Kemijärvi is surrounded by hills and large forests. Common fish species found include pike, perch and brown trout. Also, currently Kemijärvi is the northernmost known lake in Finland with an indigenous population of zander (also known as walleye or pikeperch). River Kemijoki flows from Lake Kemijärvi to Rovaniemi and further, to the sea at Kemi. Other popular summer pastimes besides fishing are hiking, trekking, boating and hunting.


The first permanent settler inhabitant of Kemijärvi was Paavali Ollinpoika Halonen, who moved, from the region of Oulu, from Niskakylä, Utajärvi to Kemijärvi about 1580. His wife was Anna Laurintytär Halonen and their children were Paavo, Olli and Pekka Halonen. Paavali's place of residence is known today as Halosenranta. As the first settlers moved to Kemijärvi, the area was no longer inhabited exclusively by the Sami people, but Ämmänvaara in the area of the municipality is an ancient sacrificial place of Samis.

The railway reached Kemijärvi in 1934. It was extended north to Salla and what is now Russia during World War II, though the line is currently moribund beyond Kemijärvi. Kemijärvi railway station has passenger train service to Rovaniemi, Oulu and Helsinki. The direct overnight train service between Kemijärvi and Helsinki was controversially withdrawn in September 2006, with VR (Finnish Railways) stating that its new sleeping car trains could not operate with the diesel locomotives needed for the (then) non-electrified railway north of Rovaniemi.[6]

However, a year later, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and VR reached an agreement concerning partial public funding of the service, which was restored in 2008 with a diesel generator car supplying head-end power to the passenger cars. The generator car disappeared from the train in March 2014 when the electrification extension from Rovaniemi to Kemijärvi was inaugurated, an event which also assured Kemijärvi a permanent place in the VR network.

On 9 May 1986, a BAE Hawk Mk 51 crashed in Kemijärvi whilst practising for a flight display due to loss of orientation.[7] The pilot, First Lieutenant M. Kähkönen, died upon impact.


The city is served by Kemijärvi railway station, with direct trains to Helsinki.

Notable individuals[edit]

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Kemijärvi is twinned with:[8]

Historical places[edit]

Name Place Description WGS 84
The Joutsijärvi concrete bunkers Joutsijärvi A platoon bunker


  1. ^ a b "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Suomen virallinen tilasto (SVT): Väestön ennakkotilasto [verkkojulkaisu]. Heinäkuu 2020" (in Finnish). Statistics Finland. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  6. ^ Finnish Railway News
  7. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident 09-MAY-1986 BAe Hawk Mk 51 HW-313". Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  8. ^ "Ystävyyskaupunkitoiminta". (in Finnish). Kemijärvi. Retrieved 2019-12-10.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kemijärvi at Wikimedia Commons